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August 17, 2009

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Iranian cagers spring a surprise in Tianjin

IRAN stunned host China to retain its continental basketball crown with a crushing 70-52 victory in the Asian championships final in Tianjin last night.

Anchored by hulking Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Ehadadi, who top-scored for his team with 19 points, the Iranians won their ninth game out of nine by out-thinking, out-fighting and out-shooting the tournament favorites.

Without the injured Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, China was relying on Yi Jianlian to lead its challenge for a 15th title in 18 appearances at the biennial tournament but the crowd spent much of the evening howling in frustration at the misfiring New Jersey Nets forward.

Earlier, Jordan beat Lebanon 80-66 to secure third place and book a spot at next year's world championships in Turkey along with the two finalists.


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