BEIRUT - August 20, 2017, was the closing ceremony of the #FIBAASIACUP2017, organized at Nohad Nawfal Stadium. Australia earned the title of champions after defeating Iran with 79-56.
From the opening whistle, Aussies conquered the game with a start of 12-2 when Haddadi responded with a 9-0 run out keeping the Iranian dream on track.
Australia’s coach seemed to have unlocked the Iranian quest: Aussie players kept the pressure until the sailing was safe. The awaited victory was modest, just like the general ambiance at the stadium. The room wasn’t full noting that the host country, Lebanon, had lost to the quarter finals.
Aussie team surrounding the FIBA Asia winners' cup, courtesy of FIBA.com
During the game, Brad Newly was at his best scoring 18 points, with Mitch Creek scoring another double digit with 12 points. Three other games were on the go earlier that day, competing for positions 3 and 8.
Game 1: The Philippines versus Jordan, ended 75-70 for the Gilas;
Game 2: Lebanon versus China. The Lebanese team lost by 1 point to 78-79;
Game 3: Korea versus New Zealand, ended 80-71 for the Koreans.
As per the top 8 FIBA ASIA CUP 2017:
Comparative table of scores
FIBA announced the All five Stars prior to handing the medals and the cup to the winning top three teams. Laureates were:
All Stars Team, Courtesy of FIBA.com
On a national level, the outstanding Lebanese player Fady El Khatib joined his final team game dropping 30 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists on China. In seven games, his average scores were 25.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 triples per game.
Closing this international success brought the audience to bittersweet emotions of pride and persistence.