Iran capitalized on its superior size in a convincing 79-68 victory over Japan in their 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian second-round qualifier in Tehran on Thursday, August 25.
Point guard Behnam Yakhchali scored a game-high 30 points for Iran. Yudai Baba paced Japan with a 27-point effort on 10-for-13 shooting, including several dunks.
Iran outscored the visitors, also known as Akatsuki Japan, 19-5 in the second quarter, taking a 44-32 advantage into halftime.
With a 51-32 overall edge in rebounds, including 17-10 on the offensive glass, world No. 23 Iran created ample second-chance scoring opportunities after its missed shots.
And that might have been the biggest difference in the game. It was a telltale sign of Iran’s inside dominance. Coach Saeid Armaghani’s club had a 16-2 advantage in second-chance points.
Japan’s outside shooting (11-for-40 from 3-point range) was not effective enough to help it overcome its size mismatch. Baba sank 5 of 6 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and Soichiro Inoue connected on 3 of 6 from long range. The rest of the team was 3-for-28 on 3s.
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