Iran dodges Chinese Taipei's upset ax, enters finals
By Alder Almo Updated Saturday August 10, 2013 - 7:45pm

Madhi Kamrany of Iran tries to escape past Chinese Taipei's naturalized player Quincy Davis' defense. Photo courtesy of FIBA Asia

MANILA, Philippines - Iran buck a slow start to move within a win away of reclaiming its lost crown in the FIBA Asia by pulling back to earth Chinese Taipei, 79-60, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Iran used a big run in the middle quarters to overcome a great start by a Chinese Taipei team that rode on the momentum of a big upset win over China Friday night.

After the Taiwanese zoomed to a 23-14 lead in the opening quarter, the Iranians woke up unloading a sizzling 17-0 run at the onset of the second canto erasing any chance of another big upset.

Iran heady playmaker Mahdi Kamrany put on a dazzling show pouring in 10 of his game-high 19 points in the second period as the Iranians badly outscored the Taiwanese, 27-12, to sit on a six-point cushion at the half.

The Taiwanese never recovered from that shellacking as they fared worse in the third period falling behind by 21, 60-39.  Iran's suffocating defense limited the once lethal shooting of Chinese Taipei to just four points, its worst quarter in the tournament.

"We had a bad start but we adjusted and towards the end, we deserved to win," Iran's Slovenian coach Mehmed Becirovic said in the post-game interview.

Hamed Hadadi stamped his class inside outplaying Taipei's naturalized American Quincy Davis.  The 7-2 Iranian center finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds while Davis hit 16 but only plucked down five boards.

But it was Kamrany, who willed the Iranians back into the game after a faltering start. The crack guard laced up his 19 points with six boards and six assists.

Chinese Taipei's lethal outside shooting has abandoned them in this most important game hitting only 4 of their 24 attempts from downtown.

Chen Shih-Chieh was the only other Taiwanese player in double figures with 11.

Iran will face the winner of Gilas Pilipinas-South Korea. 

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Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ MOA Arena
5:45 PM - Semifinal Round
Iran vs Chinese Taipei
8:00 PM - Semifinal Round
Philippines vs Korea