Iran routs Philippines for FIBA gold

Iran routed the Philippines 85-71 to bag gold at the 27th FIBA Asian men's basketball championship Sunday, powered by NBA centre Hamed Haddadi.

The seven-foot two-inch Haddadi was simply too much inside the paint for the Philippine side, scoring 29 points to lead all players.

Haddadi, the first Iran-born player in the US National Basketball Association, also grabbed 16 rebounds as he towered over his opponents.

The speedy Filipinos made a valiant effort, and were playing without injured centre Marcus Douthit.

It was Iran's third gold at the Asian championship. The Philippines are five-times champions, though their last victory came back in 1985.

Iran, the Philippines and third-placed South Korea, who lost to the Philippines in the semis, will go to the FIBA world championships in Spain next year.

The Philippines trailed by as much as nine points before clawing back to 34-35 at half time led by point guard Jayson William.

The home team played in front of a crowd of about 20,000, with President Benigno Aquino and other top government officials at courtside to cheer them on.

The raucous fans however were silenced as Haddadi repeatedly clobbered them inside the paint with his low post play and put backs.

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