Boxscores | Photo gallery
TOKUSHIMA (FIBA Asia Championship) - Hamed Ehadadi's powerplay in the second half made all the difference as Iran propelled their way to top of Group 'A' with a 77-68 win over China on Monday.
Having warmed the bench for the first two quarters, Ehadadi took to the court only at the start of the third.
And immediately got into the act, powering his way with a drive-in following it up with a silken sink from just inside the three-pointer line. He continued his influence, totaling 18 points, but more importantly collected eight rebounds despite his curtailed stay.
Those rebounds - four each defensive and offensive - along with keeping the pressure under the rival post, restricted the second shot opportunities for the Chinese.
As a result, Iran played a lot more fluently than they had earlier to canter through.
"He (Ehadadi) made a huge difference," said Iran coach Toroman Rajko.
"We went in to the match with a three-point agenda," the Serbian said.
"First, we wanted to win. Second, we wanted to give a rest to our key players, considering we had played two tight games and we have many more. Thirdly, we wanted to give our bench strength a serious try," he elaborated.
"And I think we achieved all of that."
Iran 77 (Aidin Nekkah 19, Hamed Ehadadi 18) bt China 68 (Bian Qiang 15, Chen Chen 13). Quarterwise: 17-12, 33-33, 59-46.