Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Expert says Iran learn lessons from Spain losses

July 6, 2021 - 18:17

TEHRAN - Iranian Basketball expert, Mostafa Hashemi, believes that Iran national team’s matches against Spain have brought invaluable experience for the team.

Iran’s national basketball team ended their training camp in Spain by suffering two defeats against the world’s No. 2.

The national team lost two friendly games against them (88-61 in Valencia and 96-53 in Madrid).

Iran had lost to Japan twice and defeated them in one match last week in three friendly matches held in Japan.

Hashemi, one of the most decorated Iranian basketball coaches and the current coach of the Mahram club, shared his view with Tehran Times about Iran’s performance prior to 2020 Olympic Games.

“I think we had two great matches against Spain. I don’t want to talk about the results because they were preparatory matches. The important issue is that Spain are one of the best basketball teams in the world. I believe Iran’s national team have gained invaluable experiences from these two matches.

“Our players have been put in international match condition that was so similar to official matches. It was a great opportunity for the team to further strengthen their mentality in difficult conditions,” Hashemi said.

“We also had three matches against Japan, and before that, we had played against Qatar and Saudi Arabia in FIBA Asian Cup qualifiers window, so we can say that the national team have had good preparatory matches so far,” he added.

The matches were held as part of the preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Hashemi, the former player of Iran's national basketball team, emphasized that the matches against Spain were the best friendly games for Iran: “I’m sure that these matches will help us for the Olympic Games. We have played with a high-level basketball team that own world-class players. These are the games that our basketball need more and more. We lost the games, but it’s good for us. And I think it only helps us.”

Mehran Shahintab’s side are in Group A along with the U.S., France, and the Czech Republic. Iran will play the Czech Republic at the Saitama Super Arena. The Persians are scheduled to face the U.S. and France on July 28 and 31, respectively.

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