Iran edge past Venezuela in friendly

Tehran Times - - FRONT PAGE -

TEHRAN — Iran will not be hold­ing any­thing back when they plunge into ac­tion at the Asian Qual­i­fiers this month.

All the play­ers who saw ac­tion for Team Melli at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 have re­turned to the na­tional pool for the Asian Qual­i­fiers, led by Mo­ham­mad Jamshidi and Hamed Had­dadi, who were both cho­sen to be among the All-Star Team in Beirut.

Iran have a good mix of youth and vet­er­ans on this ros­ter. They have nine play­ers who are 23 years or younger, in­clud­ing ris­ing stars Behnam Yakhchali, Sa­j­jad Mas­jayekhi and Vahid Dalirza­han. Sea­soned in­ter­na­tional cam­paign­ers like Rouzbeh Argha­van, Oshin Sa­hakian and Ar­salan Kazemi are also among the play­ers in the pool, and they are sure to use their ex­pe­ri­ence in tem­per­ing the tal­ents of their younger team­mates.

Had­dadi, Kazemi, Jamshidi and Yakhchali are pro­jected to be this squad’s lead­ers, es­pe­cially since they were among the team’s most pro­duc­tive play­ers at the Asia Cup. Not sur­pris­ingly, Iran are go­ing to be heavy fa­vorites in every match they en­ter this month, and they are ex­pected to go 2-0.

Iran are in Group D with Iraq, Kaza­khstan and Qatar. They play Iraq on 24 Novem­ber at the Prince Hamza Arena be­fore host­ing Qatar at the Azadi Gym on 27 Novem­ber.

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