Australia clinches 2017 FIBA Asia Cup

Australia started with great fervour and raced to a 12–2 lead and went on to dominate the rest of the final, to win 79-56 against Iran on Sunday.

The victorious Australian team after securing the FIBA Asia Basketball Cup 2017 in Beirut on Sunday.   -  AP

Australia was crowned the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 basketball champion following a comprehensive 79–56 victory over Iran in the final, while South Korea clinched the third place title with a 80–71 win over New Zealand .

Australia started with great fervour and raced to a 12–2 lead and thereon continued to dominate the rest of the final contest on Sunday.

Brad Newley had his best game of the tournament to lead Australia, finishing with 18 points and Daniel Kickert scored 14, while Mitch Creek had another game in double digits with 12 points.

Hamed Haddadi had 18 points to lead Iran, and was joined by Behnam Yakhchali as the only other player in double figures with 10.

Australia kept pressure up in the second quarter, pulling away in the lead up to half-time with an 11–1 run as it got fast break opportunities from Iran’s turnovers and saw success in pulling Haddadi away from the basket.

Australia had a commanding 43–26 lead at the break, with Newley contributing eight points. It took two and a half minutes for the lead to balloon to 20 in the third period, from which point it was relatively plain sailing.

A final surge from Iran saw it get the deficit down to 11 in the final minutes of the third, but it was as close as it would get, with Australia dominating the start of the fourth to emerge as champion.

In the game for third place that was held earlier, South Korea’s Ung Heo had 20 points, Sekeun Oh recorded 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Junyong Choi shone with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

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