INCHEON, South Korea (AFP) – South Korea upset continental champions Iran 79-77 after a frenetic final two minutes to capture Asian Games gold in the men’s basketball on Friday.
The Koreans kept their nerve after slipping five points behind with 122 seconds remaining to win their fourth title – and their first since stunning Yao Ming’s China at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.
They also completed a basketball double after South Korea beat China in the women’s final on Thursday.
Forward TJ Moon hit a team-high 19 points and sank a couple of clutch free throws down the stretch as South Korea held off the men’s favourites and their sharp-shooting captain Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, who scored 30 points.
Moon missed one of two foul shots with 12 seconds left – enough time for Nikkhah Bahrami to attempt a ‘Hail Mary’ three which would have won it for Iran.
“I was nervous about them hitting a three to win,” Moon told AFP. “He had been making shots all night but luckily he missed.
“The crowd definitely gave us a lot of energy tonight,” he added. “The players were hustling for every loose ball. That definitely gave us added momentum. It was just relief when the buzzer went off.”