National Basketball Federation
of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The men's national basketball team of Kazakhstan will continue the fight for a ticket to the World Cup 2023 in the away match against Iran

23.02.2022    Views: 4918
Source: Press service
On February 24, in the city of Tehran, at the Azadi Basketball Hall arena, the first meeting of the Kazakhstan men's national basketball team with the main favorite and rival in the group as part of the qualification for the 2023 World Cup - the Iranian team will take place. The match starts at 19:30 Nur-Sultan time.

The Iran men's national basketball team is the national basketball team that represents Iran in international 5x5 basketball tournaments. Member of FIBA ​​since 1947.

The Iranian national team has rich experience of participating in international tournaments. The team has participated in the Olympic Games three times, the first time back in 1948 and twice already this century in 2008 and at the last 2020 games in Tokyo. The Iranians did not show any special results at the Olympics, having lost all their games at their last two Olympic tournaments, but the very fact of participation speaks volumes. Also, the Iranian team has qualified for the world championship three times, all three times in the last three draws - 2010, 2014 and 2019. In this tournament, the Iranians also did not go far, becoming 19th, 20th and 23rd, respectively. Meanwhile, in Asia, our rivals have been able to achieve significant achievements, while the Iranians have made huge strides over the past 15 years. The Iranian team has been participating in the Championship / Asian Cup since 1973, until 2007 they played in 11 draws and the maximum they achieved was fourth place, and also finished fifth several times. In 2007, they became Asian champions and have achieved this result twice more since. At the last draw, they became finalists, and a couple of years before that, they became bronze medalists. Over the past 15 years, they have only once missed the list of winners, in 2011 becoming the fifth. In the FIBA ​​Asia Challenge tournaments (Stankovic Cup), the Iranians also have three golds - 2012, 2014, 2016. At the Asian Games, in the last four draws, the Iranian team won silver and twice bronze medals, and also in 1951 they had bronze. In the local West Asian Championship, Iran became the champion 6 times, 4 times silver and 1 bronze medalist. By the way, they have not finished below second place in the last 15 years in this tournament. In addition, five times became the winners of the tournament William Jones Cup.

The Iran men's national basketball team
Comparison of teams and history of meetings: Our Iranian rivals noticeably bypass the Kazakhstan national team in the FIBA ​​rating. Iran is currently 23rd in the FIBA ​​World Rankings and 2nd in Asia. The Kazakh team, after two victories over Syria, rose two positions higher, to 70th place in the world, and in Asia they bypassed Qatar and now occupy 11th place in the ranking. The first face-to-face confrontation between Kazakhs and Iranians took place back in 1994 at the Asian Games in Japan, then our team missed the victory with a minimal gap - 68:69. As part of the Asian Games, Kazakhstan and Iran met two more times: in 1998 in Thailand, where the Kazakhs outplayed their opponents in the quarterfinal round with a score of 55:61, and in 2014 in South Korea, in a difficult game, the Iranian team knocked Kazakhstan out of the fight for the main trophy in the semi-finals - 80:78. The teams have met four times at the Asian Championships/Cups. In 1995, in South Korea, the Kazakh team won with a score of 87:74, in China in 2003, the Iranians beat our team with a score of 92:85. Again in China in 2007, the teams clashed in the semi-finals and the Iranians again celebrated the victory, they also won in 2013 in the Philippines - 85:53. At the FIBA ​​Asia Challenge tournament, the teams faced a couple of times and both times in 2010 in Lebanon. At the group stage, the Kazakhs won with a score of 80:67. The second meeting took place again in the semi-final, but for the fifth place, and according to its results, the victory remained with our rivals - 74:61. It is also worth noting the meeting of the Kazakh and Iranian squads in the framework of the William Jones Cup tournament, in Taiwan in 2009, then the Iranian team turned out to be stronger - 56:79. The last time the teams clashed was in 2018 as part of the Asian qualifier for the World Cup. The teams played two matches - one in Kazakhstan and one in Iran, in both games the Iranians achieved victories - 54:75 and 88:56. Thus, in the entire history of the team met 12 times and the Kazakhs in full-time confrontation only 3 wins.

Roster of opponents: The roster of the Iranian national team, announced for this tournament, is very numerous and mainly players from the national Super League play in the Iranian team. The most famous and eminent player of the Iranian team of the last decade is Hamed Haddadi, a very large player (218 cm), who played in Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. In addition, Hamed played in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns. In recent years, Haddadi has firmly settled in China, where he managed to play for many professional clubs. With the Iranian national team, he repeatedly became the champion and prize-winner of international competitions. Another player who is not playing in the Iranian Super League this season is Behnam Yahchali. For the last couple of years he has been playing for German teams, and before that he had experience playing in China and Iran. All other players play in the local championship. It is worth highlighting Arsalan Kazemi, Mohammad Jamshidi, Matin Aghazhanpour, Meisam Mirzaei and Asghar Kardoust, who are the leaders of the Iranian Super League. Some of these players have experience playing for other than Iranian teams. So Arsalan Kazemi played in China and was also a member of the American student league, Mohammad Jamshidi played for the Philippine professional team, Asghar Kardoust played in Lebanon and Kuwait. Mahdi Kamrani is the most experienced player of the Iranian team (39 years old), in addition to Iran, he played in the Chinese championship. In addition to them, it is worth noting Sajad Mashayehi, Saeid Davarpan, Salar Monji, Navid Rezaeifar, Mohammad Hassanzadeh, Ruzbeh Argavan and Amirhossein Azari, because along with all of the above players, these athletes participated in matches against the Kazakhstan national team in the last Asian qualification for the World Cup four years ago. The Iranian players who did not participate in those games are mostly youth and all of them have experience only in the games of the domestic championship. Of these, one can single out quite experienced Armand Zangehen, Keyvan Riaei, Navid Khadzhehzadeh and Mohammad Yusufvand. Amirhossein Rezaeifar, despite his young age - only 21 years old, is one of the leaders of the Iranian Super League in rebounds. Of course, let's not forget the young players who are gaining experience in the national team - Jalal Agamiri, Ehsan Dalirzakhan, Mohammad Vahedi and Amirhossein Yazarlu. Naturally, all these players will not participate in the upcoming match and the coaching staff will announce only 12 people, but it is likely that most of them are already well acquainted with our team from past meetings.

Rival leaders: In the first game window of the qualification, the Iranians played two matches against Bahrain, winning both, and according to their results, we can distinguish the leaders of our rivals. The main news was that center Hamed Haddadi did not help his team in those games and he was not even in the application, but this does not mean that he will not be at the game with Kazakhstan. Power forward Arsalan Kazemi was the most effective in both past games, who scored a triple-double in the second game. The most productive Iranian players at the moment are defender Behnam Yahchali and forward Mohammad Jamshidi. In addition, powerful forward Mohammad Hassanzadeh distinguished himself with good performance and efficiency in those games. Also good games were played by defender Mahdi Kamrani, forward Saeid Davarpana and center Salar Monji. Defender Sajjad Mashayehi participated in only one game, but he significantly helped his team.

Mostafa Hashemi
Head coach: Iranian specialist Mostafa Hashemi will lead the opponents on the court. He has twenty years of coaching behind him, but all of it took place in Iranian teams. He led the following teams - “Sanam”, “Petrohimi”, “Mahram”, “Azad” and “Chemidor”, and led his wards to the championship of Iran seven times, won the Champions Cup of ZABA (West Asian Basketball Association) 4 times and once winner of the Asian Champions Cup. Mostafa Hashemi first led the national team of his country back in 2002, and was also the head coach in 2012 and returned to the helm of the national team again.

Standings: The Iranian team was initially the favorite in our group. In the first window, while the Kazakhs played two matches against Syria, the Iranian team played two games against Bahrain, one away and one at home. In both of these meetings, Iran has achieved two confident victories. Our opponents, as well as our team, have two wins in two matches, but larger difference in the score allows them to currently lead the group "D". Thus, the winner of the forthcoming meeting will take the sole first intermediate place in the group. It is worth noting that the Iranian team and its game are doubly interesting for our team, since the Steppe Wolves will not only play two games against them within the Asian qualification for the World Cup, but just recently it became known that the teams of Iran and Kazakhstan got into one group at the upcoming Asian Cup 2022. So this calendar year, the wards of Darko Russo will face opponents from Iran at least three times.

The match will take place on Thursday, February 24, in Tehran at the Azadi Basketball Hall arena, starting at 19:30 Nur-Sultan time. All information about the match, lineups, news, photo and video reports, as well as statistics will be published in the Match Center. Online broadcast of the game will be available on the main page of our website.
The National Basketball Federation of Kazakhstan expresses gratitude for the support and assistance in preparing the team for participation in the tournament to the National Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the "Samruk Kazyna" National Welfare Fund, the "Sport Qory" Tourism and Sports Industry Support Fund and the Nur-Sultan City Akimat. General sponsor of the National Basketball Team of Kazakhstan - "M-Sport" LLP, sponsors - "Capital City Center" LLP and "Begtas NS" Firm, technical partner - "Transtelecom" JSC, partner - "Kokshe Susyndary" company with the "Prima Naturale" trademark.

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