February 25, 2019 – Iran’s men’s basketball team defeated its Australian rival 85-74 on February 24 to secure a place at the 2019 FIBA World Cup hosted by China from August 31 to September 15. The win marks the third consecutive year that the Iranian team has qualified for the world championship games. Iran beat Australia despite the absence of its star players, Hamed Haddadi and Samad Nikkhah Bahrami.
Australia (with 22 points), Japan and Iran (with 20 points each) and the Philippines (with 19 points) are four teams from Group F that have successfully qualified for the final stage of the FIBA World Cup games in China later this year.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Ramin Tabatabaei, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Basketball Federation, said: “We have organized a five-month training camp and home-and-away tournaments to prepare for the China games. We aim to put together a strong team. We hope our national team wins the Asian championship tournament and advances to the next Olympic Games.”
Mehran Shahin Tabe, the head coach of Iran’s men national basketball team said: “We need to make changes. Some situations demand that we rethink our approach to the game. Our main goal is to develop the national team. The older we get, the more we come to love our country and try to fulfill our patriotic duties.”
[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]