By Farrokh Hesabi

Basketball expert lauds Iran’s performance against Czech Republic

July 27, 2021 - 14:18

TEHRAN - Mostafa Hashemi, former coach of Iran's national basketball team, says lack of self-confidence and exaggerated compliments about the rivals' strength, led to the loss of Iran against the Czech Republic in the first game of the group stage at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Iran basketball team were defeated against the Czech Republic 84-78 in their first match in Saitama on Sunday.

 In an interview with Tehran Times, Hashemi said: “I think we exaggerated the strength of our rivals and it is a cultural problem that we should solve, not only in basketball but in the other areas we have the same attitude. 

“Given the good performance of our national team in the last quarter against Czech, we could say that we could’ve started the game much better than what we did in the first half. It was because of the fact that we started the game with a weak mindset because some people thought we would definitely lose this game,” Hashemi said. 

“Iran’s coaching staff and players did their best in their first Olympics game. They worked hard and did whatever they were supposed to do. Our team played very well in the defensive zone and forced the opponent to make a lot of mistakes.

“I think Iran were their own worst enemy and allowed the Czech to score many points. We came alive in the fourth quarter and trimmed the lead to four in the last seconds. It proved that Iran had the potential to win the game with more concentration and fewer mistakes,” said the Iranian basketball expert.

Iran will return to play Wednesday, facing the U.S. on the second day of Group A matchups. Hashemi, while emphasizing the differences between the two teams, believes that Iranian players are able to play well against the U.S stars. 

“France handed the Americans their first loss in Olympic basketball after many years and it shows that the U.S team are not untouchable or invincible. I don’t mean that Iran can beat the U.S. because considering the level of the two countries’ basketball and facilities, it’s an illogical expectation. However, I believe that we can play well against the Americans as we did in the last quarter against the Czech Republic.

“It’s a challenge for us and I’m sure that Iran will perform well against the United States if we use all our potentials and avoid exaggerating the strength of opponent,” Hashemi concluded.

Leave a Comment

8 + 10 =