Haddadi 23-20 game leads Iran past host Lebanon and into semis match vs Korea
Iran's Hamed Haddadi was too much to handle for host Lebanon. Photo from Fiba.com

HAMED Haddadi threw his weight around on Thursday, putting together the first 20-20 game of the tournament as former champion Iran beat host Lebanon, 80-70, to book a place in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup semifinals.

The 7-2 Haddadi, a late call-up for the 2013 Asian champions, scored 23 points to go with 20 rebounds and four assists as Iran methodically tore apart a Lebanese side led by fellow veteran Fedi El-Khatib before a hostile crowd at the Nouhal Nawfal Sports Complex.

Former Meralco import Mohammed Jamshidi added 24 points while missing just four of 13 shots for the Iranians, who won the 2013 tournament in Manila by beating Gilas Pilipinas in the finals.

[See Korea puts shock end to Gilas bid with flawless execution, torrid shooting]

With their fourth successive win since the group stage, Iran earned a place in the Final Four against in-form South Korea, which booted out previously unbeaten Gilas with an emphatic 118-86 victory.

The two other semifinal berths from the opposite bracket will be fought on Friday morning (Manila time) when Asian zone newcomer Australia takes on defending champion China and New Zealand battles Jordan.

Gilas, meanwhile, is set to face Lebanon next in the classification battle for the fifth to eighth places.

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