CHANGSHA, China – China is now just a win away in its quest for redemption.
The host dethroned Iran on Friday night behind an emphatic 70-57 victory to reach the final of the Fiba Asia Championship at the Changsha Social Work Colleges gymnasium here.
The Chinese led right from the get go and had a ready answer for every run by the deposed champion. They enter Saturday’s championship game unbeaten in nine games against the winner of the Gilas-Pilipinas-Japan semifinal encounter.
China failed to defend its title in 2013 in Manila as it lost to Chinese Taipei in the knockout quarterfinals.
The victory over Iran likewise eased the pain of the team’s lost to the Middle East country in the 2009 final of the meet held in Tianjin, China.
China (70) – Yi J. 13, Zhou 12, Ding 10, Guo 9, Zhai 8, Zhao 7, Zhou 6, Li 3, Wang 2.
Iran (57) – Bahrami 18, Haddadi 16, Kamrani 6, Karekani 5, Sahakian 4, Yakhchalidehkordi 3, Mashayekhi 2, Kardoustpoustinaraei 2, Jamshidi 1, Davari 0, Hassanzadeh 0.
Quarterscores: 21-12; 39-29; 58-44; 70-57.