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China revenges Iran in Basketball friendly

(Xinhua)    10:15, June 17, 2017

CHANGCHUN, China, June 16 -- Abdusalam's three-pointer with 55 seconds to the end of the match helped Team Red of Chinese Men's basketball team to beat Iran 72-67 here on Friday and revenged their Tuesday's 60-63 loss.

The host, who trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, outscored their Asian rival 30-17 in the final quarter to turn the table over. Abdusalam, who scored a team-high 13 points in Tuesday's match, took all his nine points in the final period, while Zhao Jiwei and Zhao Rui both added seven.

Zhao Jiwei's three-pointer opened the match for China but it was the only one for the host in the first half as they were one-of-eight in three-pointers. But Zou Yuchen helped in both defense and offense. The Bayi center, who just returned from the United States on Wednesday, insisted to play and took 12 points and three blocks in eight minutes before he quitted the match due to injury.

"Everyone can see how Zou performed on the court. We are lacking of big guys and he asked to play before the match, though he was still troubled by jet leg," said Li Na, Team Red's head coach. "And it was exactly after he got injured when we had problems in the third quarter."

China scored only 11 points in the third quarter. Mohammad Jamshidi, who led Iran with a match-high 24, scored eight in that quarter while Rouzbeh Arghavan added six to help Iran heading into the final quarter with a lead of eight.

China took a 10-4 run in the first three-minutes to cut the gap to only two and then another 8-0 run to set the lead. Iran had their chance to force a timeout and China's Zhao Rui made in one of his two free-throws to secure China their sweet revenge.

"We had a good start and a good ending," said Li Nan. "Though we had some tough times in the middle of the match, I'm satisfied with my players. They fought for the victory in every second of the match and I thought we played better we did in last match."

Team Red will play their third and also final match against Iran in Ningbo, Zhejiang on Sunday.

According to the plan of Yao Ming, the newly elected CBA president, there will be two national teams under the entirely new system and each one led by one coach. The two teams will play in different international competitions before they merge into one in 2019 to prepare for the 2019 World Cup in China and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Team Blue, which led by Du Feng, will play their first warm-up series against Russia, India and South Africe in the first edition of BRICS Games, which will open in Guangzhou on Saturday.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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