Iran men pulled off a 72-54 win over the Netherlands to take a historic bronze medal at the 2022 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships and stamp their stature as one of the best teams in the world. This was Iran’s first medal in a World Championships.
Iran were led by Morteza Abedi’s double-double (19 points, 18 rebounds) while their star player Omid Hadiazhar contributed with 11 points. Dutch player Mendel Op den Orth top scored in the match with 24 points but couldn’t take his team through. Both Hadiazhar and Op den Orth making the Men’s All-Star Team.
A happy Iran head coach Mohammadreza Dastyar said:
“We analysed Netherlands’ game and planned accordingly. A night before the match, I told my boys that we need to control the game, play with mind and not with heart. It was a good win and overall great Championships with my young players including 18-year-old Abolfazl Jalaei getting great learning experiences.
“The players are working hard and many seniors players are playing in different European countries like Turkey, Spain and bringing club experience to the team,” said Dastyar appreciating the hard work of the assistant coaches.
“This team started training only after October 2022 and the level of game they are playing, I can say – we are ready to defend the title in Hangzhou 2022 (the Asian Paralympic Games). We want to continue this momentum to Hangzhou.”
Text Credit: Priyanka Sharma / DCD
Pictures Credit: Mark Madrid / Essa Yahya / DCD