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Hamed Haddadi named FIBA Asia MVP

Aug 11, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT

Iran's Hamed Haddadi celebrates being named the Most Valuable Player after his team won their FIBA Asia Championship final basketball game against Philippines in Manila

The FIBA Asia Championships concluded Sunday morning over in the Philippines with Iran dominating a hosting Philippines squad en route to an 85-71 victory. It was Iran’s third championship in the biannual event since 2007 and, not coincidentally, the third time Hamed Haddadi was named the tournament MVP.

Haddadi is currently a free agent after ending last season with the Phoenix Suns, but he’ll likely be able to find work now that his national team commitments are done until next year. The big man had 29 points and 16 rebounds in Sunday’s championship game, moving his averages up to 18.8 points and 10 rebounds while averaging just 22 minutes of action in his team’s nine games at the tournament.

Haddadi didn’t run into a lot of NBA-level bigs over the course of the tournament, but there were a few recognizable names competing as naturalized citizens in the tournament. Yi Jianlian was the tournament’s second-leading scorer, former lottery pick Jarvis Hayes suited up for Qatar, Temple’s Quincy Davis III led Chinese Taipei to a victory over China, Wang Zhizhi showed he still has a bit left in the tank, former Lakers draft pick Marcus Douthit was good for the Philippines — though he missed Sunday’s championship game with an injury — and J.R. Sakuragi used to be famous under another name in the states.

Iran and the Philippines both automatically qualified for next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup (previously known as the FIBA World Championship) and moved one step closer to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Korea earned Asia’s third bid for the 2014 FIBA tournament with a 75-57 victory over Chinese Taipei in the third place game.

China, likely considered the favorite heading into the tournament, will have to take a round-about route to qualify for the 2016 Olympics after being eliminated by Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. The team that features former NBA players Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhizhi and a perpetually-struggling Sun Yue now has to hope they earn a Wild Card berth to next year’s FIBA World Cup in order to make guarantee a trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

  1. dysraw1 - Aug 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    come and bring your talents to MSG.

  2. aaroncurryisbust - Aug 11, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Allah ho Akbar! Palestine will be freed from the evil Zionist entity’s clutches soon, have faith brothers.

    • casualcommenter - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      Haddadi is of Iranian descent, not Palestinian, so he doesn’t speak Arabic, he speaks Persian…

      • aaroncurryisbust - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        The struggle against oppression and tyranny unites us all in solidarity regardless of race or language.

  3. aaroncurryisbust - Aug 11, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Allah ho Akbar! Palestine will be freed from the evil Zionist entity’s clutches soon, have faith brothers.

    • robertm7026 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      I’m an Iranian-American and Iranian achievements in sport and technology has nothing to do with you Palestinian rat or Islam for that matter. Iranians are Persians, the same people and race that you have hated and been enemy of through out the history of the world just like you have hated Jews, Europeans and Americans and the rest of the world and anyone who has been better and more civilized than you for that matter. Persians don’t like Arabs specially those sick scumbags from Gulf states. May you continue to suffer because of your jealousy, hatred and sick twisted values and don’t you dare to take credit for anything that Iran does or achieves. May God help Iran back to its rout to freedom and the glory days and get rid of this cancer called Islam just like the way it once was and I can see it will happen soon or later. God bless America and the free world and free Iran!

  4. areyesrn - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Iran team destroyed the Philippines. Wasn’t even as close as the score would indicate

    • rnerizon - Aug 11, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      at least not more than 30 points if Douthit was able to play..it will be a different story.

    • hansenjones - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:03 AM

      Don’t know if you watched the game or what? Game was intense, score is enough considering Philippines played without their starting center who suffered leg injury during their semi-final game against Korea. Just so you know..

    • mjoasio15 - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:55 AM

      its close havent you watch..not for the wrong calls of referee iran wouldnt be up in points..iran just got lucky philippines center is injured..philippines play with heart not just height..lets see in Fiba World..anyways w/o haddadi iran is nothing..lets see after 2 years..

  5. allenjay - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Iran Vs Philippines Championship game is too close. if the philippines have their center marcus douthit. I think philippines will be the champ.. this is the game that iran is score is too close to the opponent., but congrats to the philippines squad they are now back to the FIBA WORLD CUP after a long long time.. #LabanPilipinas #PUSO #GilasPilipinas

  6. hansenjones - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    *close enough, i meant

  7. skinsfanwill - Aug 12, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    If this guy scored 29 and grabbed 16 boards he was definitely playing against some serious bums. Period!!!!

    • muhangis - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:48 AM

      Throughout his NBA career Haddadi has been very, very productive given his limited minutes. If you don’t have a clue what you are talking about, then don’t comment.

      Period.

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