FIBA Asia 2013: Teams Most Likely to Run the Table
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The second round of the FIBA Asia 2013 is underway, and Iran headlines the group of teams that are most likely to go undefeated in the tournament.
While only one team can finish the tournament with a perfect record, there are a few squads that have the potential to run the table.
Three spots remain open for next year's World Cup, and 12 teams remain alive for those bids. The games that already took place in the second round have made it more clear as to which teams are serious contenders but anything can happen in the coming days.
Let's take a look at what teams are most likely to go undefeated in the FIBA Asia 2013.
This squad has easily been the most impressive team in the tournament. Iran is a perfect 4-0 after easily beating India in Round 2, with game recap courtesy of FIBA's official website.
Iran hasn't gotten much competition from the rest of Group F. In fact, they outscored their opponents by 164 points through four games, or an average of 41 points per game.
However, the toughest test will come in the final game of Round 2. Iran will battle Kazakhstan in what could decide the winner of the group. Although it will be the best team Iran has faced through two rounds, it shouldn't have much of a problem winning that game.
Iran is led by Hamed Hadadi. The 7'2" center has been extremely dominant in the tournament, and he should be able to continue his great play. He has averaged 19.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.75 blocks per game in the competition.
Hadadi played in the NBA last season, so it's clear he's used to tougher competition. So far in this tournament, he has shown why NBA teams were willing to give him a chance.
Samad Nikkhah Bahrami has also had a good tournament. He has averaged 14.8 points, 4.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.
With those two players leading the way, Iran will surely be tough to beat.
Although it has been inconsistent, Chinese Taipei has the talent to run the table.
The squad improved to 4-0 with a 39-point rout of Hong Kong to open Round 2, with game recap courtesy of FIBA's official website. It marked the second blowout of the tournament for Chinese Taipei, but it has been involved in a pair of close contests as well. It beat Jordan and the Philippines by a combined nine points.
Which team has the best chance to run the table?
Like Iran, Chinese Taipei has been led by two players. Lin Chih-Chieh and Lu Cheng-Ju Lu have been key parts of this team.
Chih-Chieh has averaged 15 points, 6.5 assists, and five rebounds per game. Those numbers are lower than one might expect, but he has played only 14 minutes per game in the two blowouts. He averaged 23.5 points per game in the team's close games, and he recorded a double-double against the Philippines.
Cheng-Ju has also averaged 15 points per game and has added 2.5 rebounds to his numbers. His biggest asset is his ability to hit three-pointers. He went 7-of-12 against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has made 16 three-pointers in the past three games.
Effectively, having two players who can score in different ways makes Chinese Taipei very dangerous.
With a win to open Round 2, Qatar managed to keep its perfect record intact. It survived a one-point game against Japan, and it has been dominant ever since. In fact, it has won its past two games by a combined 37 points.
Qatar also has some talented players, including a former NBA player.
Jarvis Hayes, the No. 10 pick in the 2003 NBA draft, has led his team in this tournament. He has averaged 20 points and four rebounds per game. The forward is shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and has been tough to stop.
Hayes, a naturalized Qatari, has been good, but he has had some help, too. Yasseen Musa has been a dominant force. He has averaged only 8.7 points and three assists per game, but he has used his size to his advantage. The 6'8" forward has averaged 8.7 rebounds per game.
Chinese Taipei and Qatar are scheduled for a showdown on Wednesday, so make sure you tune into that game to see which team prevails.
*All stats are courtesy of FIBA's official website
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