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Will Haddadi show up for Iran at Asia Cup?

TEHRAN (FIBA Asia Cup 2017) - With many other teams bringing the big guns and not pulling any punches, Iran better be at their best, too, when they see action at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 in Beirut.

A glance at the submitted 12-man roster for Team Melli gives the impression that they are going all out in the Asia Cup,. aiming for no less than a podium finish.

15 Hamed Hadadi (IRI) - Iran v Korea, 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge (IRI), Tehran(Islamic Republic of Iran), Final, 18 September 2016
The veteran presence of Arsalan Kazemi, Mohammad Jamshidi, Rouzbeh Arghavan, Oshin Sahakian, Behnam Yakhchali and Sajjad Mashayekhi - all of whom have been playing on the senior since 2014 or even earlier - will certainly buoy this team, but it's the inclusion of legendary center Hamed Haddadi that really ties everything together.

Early in the year, Haddadi was a big question mark for Iran given an injury he sustained in the last CBA season while playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales. His addition to their Asia Cup roster comes as a bot of a surprise, but it sends a clear message that Iran are not taking this competition, their group or any team lightly.

Haddadi had not been present in Iran's training camp and tune-up games, but despite that clear handicap, Haddadi is the type of player who can make a significant impact in any game he enters. His size alone makes him formidable, and his skill-set as a low post operator is well renowned. If he, indeed, chooses to play - whether in all the games or not - that means the Iranians will have a colossal ace up their sleeves, especially when they reach the knockout rounds.

Aside from Haddadi and the veterans, though, other interesting names are on Iran's list. Up and coming talents like Vahid Dalirzahan, Keyvan Reaei and Navid Rezaeifar - all of whom are no older than 22 - should be on any Asian fan's watchlist. Reaei and Rezaeifar, in particular, can be exciting to watch, at least based on how they performed in the recent William Jones Cup 2017.

Iran 12-Man Roster for FIBA Asia Cup 2017  

Rouzbeh Arghavan    
Farid Aslani     
Vahid Dalirzahan    
Hamed Haddadi
Mohammad Jamshidi    
Arsalan Kazemi    
Sajjad Mashayekhi    
Seyed Niktash 
Oshin Sahakian    
Keyvan Reaei    
Navid Rezaeifar     
Behnam Yakhchali

Source: http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/news/will-haddadi-show-up-for-iran-at-asia-cup

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