Iran claimed gold in the men’s wheelchair basketball competition at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games for the first ever time in a thrilling final against Japan.
The opening quarter saw Japan taking control of the game, powering out to a 21-12 lead at the end of the first.
Iran chipped away at Japan’s lead over the second and third quarter, with scores of 20-17 and 21-15, bringing it all square at 53-53 heading into the final period
The lead exchanged hands a number of times in the last quarter, and with only fifty seconds remaining on the clock, the game was still tied at 66-66. Iran’s Omid Hadiazhar kept his composure and netted home with 14 seconds remaining to give Iran the edge, but the drama was not over. From the Japan inbound, Iran defended it well giving a difficult chance to Japan’s Reo Fujimoto. He missed the contested shot which looked to have been the end of the game, but after a short delay and some discussion, a jump ball was called and one second was put back on the clock with an endline ball to Japan. Captain Akira Toyoshima broke free for a quick release lay-up, but it trickled off the rim of the basket and didn’t drop, meaning heartbreak for Japan as they had to settle for silver, whilst Iran claimed the gold, 68-66.
Iran’s scoring was distributed over three main players, this time Morteza Ebrahimi led the scorers with 25 points followed by Omid Hadiazhar and Morteza Abedi, who scored 19 points and 18 points, respectively.
Reo Fujimoto came off the bench to top score for Japan with 23 points, with Hiroaki Kozai (11 Points) and Akira Toyoshima (10 points) also hitting double figures.
In the bronze medal game, South Korea picked themselves up from their semi-final disappointment yesterday against Iran, to take a convincing win over China, 79-51.
South Korea’s attacking combination of Dong Hyeon Gim and Seung Hyun Cho, who scored 24 points and 21 points respectively, proved too much for China to handle as South Korea won all four quarters, 25-14, 13-8, 19-17 and 22-12 to ensure they went home with the bronze medal. China’s Yinhai Lin, who has been the highest average points scorer per game in the tournament, again netted their top score with 20 points.
Photo Credit INAPGOC