Iran Defeats S. Arabia to Clinch Top Spot of FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers
- June, 14, 2021 - 19:24
- Sports news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran closed out their FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers campaign with a narrow 70-64 win over Saudi Arabia on Monday.
The game was tightly contested through the first half, with Iran holding a one-point lead into the midgame break. Saudi Arabia utilized its athleticism to its advantage and it was Khalid Abdel Gabar's 14 first-half points that kept the team close.
The second half remained close, but Iran displayed poise and composure to stay ahead and go away with the win. Navid Rezaeifar came off the bench and provided Iran with the spark they needed, going for 16 points on a perfect shooting game.
Arsalan Kazemi stuffed the stat sheet for a second straight game with 7 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, and three steals in the win.
Saudi Arabia fought tooth and nail to reclaim the lead in that second half and its effort was evident for everyone watching. It never backed down even as Iran built up a lead of double-digits, but it was unfortunately not enough.
Abdel Gabar finished the game with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists to once again star for his team. The team also got an energizing performance from Musab Tariq Kadi who impressed with 12 points and 6 offensive rebounds.
The win clinches first place in Group E for Iran, while Saudi Arabia drops to a 3-3 record, fiba.basketball reported.