Iran eye historic Worlds medal after reaching semis; Dutch men make firstlast-4 in 17 years

With their sights set on a historic medal, Iran men became the first team to enter the semi-finals of the IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships – Dubai 2022 here on Friday.

In a thrilling and high-intensity match, Iran pipped Germany 70-68 to enter the semi-finals for second consecutive time after their appearance in Hamburg 2018 Worlds.

The Iranian team displaying an amazing show of defence equally supported by their offence, led by their experienced stars Mohamadhassan Sayari (20 points) and Omid Hadiazhar (19 points) who impressed with their shooting skills.

“It was a great match; they played well with their defence and offence. They listened and executed the plans, analysed before Germany. Happy to get our third win over Germany. This was our target before the match,” said Iran’s head coach Mohammadreza Dastyar hoping a tough match against Great Britain.

“We trained for six months before this Championships,” said the coach adding that the team had a mixture newcomer and senior players with players from U-23 team – Abolfazl Jalaei and Amirreza Ahmadi joining the senior team in Dubai.

“We have plans to get more players from my U-23 team. Some of my players are playing in Germany and Turkey, they will also return and then we choose the best players for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games,” Dastyar added.

Netherlands, USA, GBR in top-4  

Later, Netherlands and USA men joined Iran in the top-four beating Canada and Australia in other exciting matches. While Netherlands overcame Canada 68-53 after close third and fourth quarters, thanks to Mendel Op Den Orth’s 32-point show, USA rallied to beat Australia 47-32 riding on Steve Serio’s efforts (14 points).

For Netherlands, it was an emotional win as this is the first time, they have reached the semi-finals since the 2006 World Championships.

Later, defending champions Great Britain defeated Italy 72-44, with Gregg Warburton top scoring with 32 points.

Action from Netherlands vs. Canada at the World Trade Centre Halls on Friday.

Close contest in women’s events

In the women’s events, defending and Paralympic champions Netherlands defeated USA 66-57 in a close contest to top Group A and will meet Canada in their quarter-finals.

Canada meanwhile beat China 54-50 in their last Group B match.

However, Great Britain women fell at the hands of Australia in the last league game 63-52. Australia meet Germany in the quarters who overcame Japan 61-52.

The road to Paris 2024 Paralympic Games begins at the World Championships here as top four teams earn a slot each to the continental championships, the podium finishers of which will qualify for Paris 2024.

Netherlands’ Mendel Op Den Orth goes for a basket against Canada at teh World Trade Centre Halls.

Women’s Quarter-finals Line-up

Netherlands vs. Canda

China vs. Japan

Spain vs. USA

Germany vs. Australia

Men’s Semi-final line-up (to be played on Sunday)

Iran vs. Great Britain

USA vs. Netherlands

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