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Iran enjoys first victory in basketball championships

08-31-2010 15:30 BJT

ISTANBUL, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Iran enjoyed its first victory of the 2010 World Basketball Championships with a 71-58 win in a close game against Tunisia here on Monday.

Iran's Saman Veisi goes to the basket as Tunisia's Radhouane Slimane (2nd-L) and Amine Rzig (R) defend during their FIBA Basketball World Championship game in Istanbul, August 30, 2010.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo) 
Iran's Saman Veisi goes to the basket as Tunisia's Radhouane Slimane (2nd-L) and 
Amine Rzig (R) defend during their FIBA Basketball World Championship game in 
Istanbul, August 30, 2010.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Both teams lost their previous matches in group B, went into this evening's bout at Abdi Ipekci Arena with two straight losses.

Tunisia trailed behind throughout the match, and Iran picked up the momentum from the third quarter, widening the gap to 52-28 at one point and entering the last quarter at 55-36.

However, Tunisia made the surprising surge with baskets from Mejri, Ben Romdhane and Knioua, clawing back to 54-57 for the closest margin.

During the last five minutes with a slight 59-54 lead, Iran regained its composure to seal the victory as Hamed Haddadi, who plays in the NBA for the Memphis Grizzlies, scored the game's highest of 23 points.

Iran will next play the United States on Wednesday.

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