Brazil ended day one here in Istanbul with a comfortable 81-65 win over Iran.
Guilherme Giovannoni led Brazil’s scoring with 17 points. Iran’s Hamed Hadadi scored 16 points, but scoring just two in the entire second half.
After the first two games of the day, the third and final game of day one brought the lowest attending game. But the Iranian following was loud. Despite the poor first quarter showing.
It was a struggle for both teams to start. Both teams failing to convert the simplest of baskets. But Brazil were by far the better team inside – as Iran were counting on their three-point threat for points. Brazil up at the end of one (22-12).
“We were nervous in the first quarter.” Said Brazil coach, Ruben Magnano.
“Iran played hard, and we had to respond. I was proud of our team in the end, especially in our defensive job.”
Iran’s main source of scoring was coming from Hadadi – but the support was little, as Brazil found their rhythm, as buckets from Marcelo Machado and Marcus Viera gave Brazil a 31-21 lead mid-way through the second.
Hadadi continued to carry the Iranians – but Brazil were comfortable – and a Tiago Splitter bucket gave the South-American giants a 39-29 lead at the half.
Brazil’s lead grew early on to 48-31 with a pair of free-throws from Leandro Barbosa. Iran stayed in contention, with the supporting cast to Ehadadi making a cameo appearance, most notably from Asghar Kardoust, who scored back-to-back buckets.
Iran pressed on in the fourth – and cut the deficit to 13 (65-50) with a put-back from Kazemi. Brazil though fought back from the Iranian pressure, and extended the lead to 71-52, thanks to consecutive buckets from Tiago Splitter, the first hammering home in the face of Ehadadi.
The game-tempo lowered, as Brazil ran away with the win.
“We are now here, we tried to present ourselves to the world.” Said Iran coach, Veselin Matic.
“But all-in-all, this is all an experience for our players.”
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net – in Istanbul