TEHRAN (FIBA Asia Championship/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Iran boss Memi Becirovic will be looking to steer the national side back to the top of the pile at the FIBA Asia Championship next summer in Lebanon, where spots for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be up for grabs.
Iran were the two-time defending champions when they lost in the Quarter-Finals of the event last year to Jordan.
Becirovic, who replaced Veselin Matic as national team coach earlier this year, should have a lot more insight into the Iran players, and the country’s basketball as a whole, after being handed the reins to Superleague powerhouse Mahram.
Several of the country's top players are on the books of Mahram, the five-time defending champions.
They include Mahdi Kamrani and Samad Nikkhah Bahrami.
The club also has Amir Sedighi, a standout player who made a name for himself at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games for Men when he averaged 11.7 points and seven rebounds per contest.
He played for Becirovic in the autumn when the Slovenian coached Iran at the FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo.
Samad was the MVP of that event and Afagh was an all-tournament selection as Iran won the title to clinch a place in next year’s FIBA Asia Championship.
Becirovic takes over with Mahram having already won twice at the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
He replaces Mostafa Hashemi who, according to the Mehr News Agency, left the post for unspecified reasons.
Mahram also contacted Serbian Rajko Toroman about the job.
Toroman was the coach of Iran's national side that took gold at the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship and played at the Beijing Olympics the following year, but the club has settled on Becirovic, a veteran tactician from Slovenia.
Becirovic guided Slovenia's national team into the Quarter-Finals of the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
They defeated Iran in the Preliminary Round of that tournament.