Iran beat Angola 71-62 at FIBA World Cup classification

TEHRAN, Sep. 07 (MNA) – Iran celebrated its first victory in the FIBA World Cup in Beijing on Friday by beating Angola 71-62 in the classification round.

Samad Nikhhah Bahrami scored a game-high 21 points on 5 of 7 shooting from 3-point range for Iran, including 15 points in the second half. Aaron Geramipoor added 11 points and seven rebounds. Carlos Morais had 17 points to lead Angola, and Valdelicio Joaquim and Jose Antonio each had 10 points.

The win keeps alive Iran's hopes of finishing the World Cup as the best Asian side, which means a ticket to directly qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

"We failed to advance into the last 16, so it's very important for us to beat Angola. To fight for the Olympics qualification, we must beat Philippines in the next match," said Nikhhah Bahrami.

Iran, who trails in Group C with a three-game losing streak, opened the game with an 11-6 run. Angola responded by scoring a 7-0 run before Iran ended the first quarter with a 19-17 lead.

Both teams struggled in the offence as Iran went scoreless for more than six minutes in the second quarter. Angola was not much better, but good enough to lead 29-28 at the halftime buzzer.

The third quarter was still a seesaw battle as Khahbahrami hit a three-pointer to lift Iran to a 48-45 lead into the last quarter.

Nikkhah Bahrami scored eight points to build Iran's lead to 10 with 5:47 to play. Angola bounced back to cut the deficit to 57-60 but their foul trouble helped Iran seal the victory from the free-throw line.

MNA/XINHUA

News Code 149767

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