IRAN coach Mehmed Becirovic said they were very motivated to win the Fiba-Asia Championship to atone for the country's fifth-place finish in 2011 Wuhan, China edition.
Becirovic said that even though some players didn’t report to training camp on time, Iran was very much looking forward to bouncing back this year in Manila after being dumped at the quarterfinal stage by Jordan two years ago.
They got the job done, finishing the tournament unbeaten capped by an 85-71 win over Gilas Pilipinas in the gold medal match on Sunday at the MOA Arena.
“We didn’t have some players, some joined us later. I preferred to have the team from the first day of prepation,” said Becirovic.
The Slovenian revealed that although Hamed Hadadi didn’t report immediately following his NBA campaign, he took the initiative to ask his teammates to report early.
“But they were very motivated. Hadadi asked everybody to come on the first day,” said Becirovic. “Still we didn’t know how good and prepared we are,” said Becirovic.
The Slovenian coach credited defense for the title victory
“You know 20,000 fans behind the Philiippines. They played good. They find new energy, new energy to fight until the end. But for four quarters, we put better defense and play some good inside game to Hadadi,” said Becirovic.