Iran will have to come back strong in 2017 to be considered a dynasty after China outplayed them in the their semifinal match.
China’s Yi Jianlian dominated the inside and anchored their defense with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks on the way to the host nation’s 70-57 win over the defending champions.
Ailun Guo contributed 9 points and a team leading 6 assists and 2 steals for team China who hopes to remain undefeated after the championship game on Saturday. Iran will have to play Japan for third place. Team Melli was paced by
The key matchup of the game that may dictate the game is the Philippines’ 6-11 Andray Blatche and China’s 7-0 Yi Jianlian. Both big men have NBA experience and lead their respective teams in points, rebounds and blocked shots.
You can dissect the game with other Filipinos in our Philippines-China game thread.
China vs. Philippines in FIBA Asia Championship
This will be the first time that China and the Philippines will meet in the FIBA Asia finals.
Discuss the China-Philippines finals in our FIBA Asia Championship forum
But this isn’t the first time that either team to play in the finale, nor would it be either team’s first championship. China is the winningest team in the history of the tournament with 15 golds while the Philippines is second in total gold finishes with five.
China hasn’t seen the throne much lately, they did win the 2011 tournament after Iran was upset by Jordan, but otherwise, this is a somewhat forgettable stretch for a team that has a strong history of tournament domination.
This will be the second-straight FIBA Asia finale that the Philippines will take part in. Back in 2013, the Filipinos took second place to Iran and they hope to win their first FIBA regional title in 30 years. The last time the Philippines won the FIBA Asia Championships was in 1985; that title interrupted what would have been eleven consecutive titles by China (1975-83 and 1987-95).
Iran will take on Japan for third place in the FIBA tournament slated to start at 18:00 local time. No matter the outcome, both Japan and Iran (and the loser of the finals) will have a chance at an Olympic berth in next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Discuss the 2015 FIBA Asia Championships in our forum.