Iran basketball coach Shahintab speaks out on FIBA World Cup qualifying

February 25, 2019 - 17:50

TEHRAN – Iran national basketball team did a great job, advancing to the 2019 FIBA World Cup with defeating Australia in Tehran. Team Melli coach Mehran Shahintab says they will have to do more if they want to book a place in the 2020 Olympic Games.

On Sunday, Team Melli beat the Boomers, who had already secured their place at the World Cup, in Tehran’s Azadi Hall. 

The top Asian team will qualify for the Olympics making it hard for the Persians if not impossible.

The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be held in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.

“It was tough but we did it. We’ve earned eight wins over the past 15 months, and honestly we did a great job. In the World Cup qualifying tournaments, you cannot expect more. We were calm playing against Australia yet failed to do the same with Japan,” Shahintab said.

“If you want to be a strong team, you’ll have to take your league and grassroots into consideration. You cannot be a winner just with two weeks training. Unfortunately, the domestic league has been very week in the past years. You cannot expect more if you don’t strength your league,” he added.

Team Melli lost to Japan 97-89 while Hamed Haddadi and Samad Nikkhah Bahrami were absent following their troubles with the basketball authorities. The duo also missed the match against Australia.

“I am not talking about special persons, but sometimes players need a spark. Of course, the coaches can make mistakes,” Shahintab went on to say.

“We will participate in a warm up tournament in South Korea as part of preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. We will also try to hold a four-team tournament in Tehran. The team is in need of a better management to get prepared for the World Cup,” Shahintab declared.

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