Niktash Will Make a Difference for Iran at FIBA World Cup Asia Qualifiers

Niktash Will Make a Difference for Iran at FIBA World Cup Asia QualifiersNiktash Will Make a Difference for Iran at FIBA World Cup Asia Qualifiers

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has praised one of Iran’s national basketball team players Navid Niktash in an article on its website and called him an influential figure for the country in the upcoming tournaments.

According to FIBA website, if his performance at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017 is any indication, Iranian-French professional basketball player Niktash should make quite a splash for Iran at the Asian Qualifiers in November.

Niktash debuted for Iran this year at the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon, but played sparingly, averaging under 7 minutes per game.

He bounced back in the recently concluded Asia Champions Cup, though, averaging nearly 18 minutes per contest and playing in each of Petrochimi Iran’s 7 assignments.

Niktash served as an effective floor spacer for Petrochimi, hitting 2.0 triples and norming 9.0 points per game as they made it all the way to the semifinals and finished fourth.

That’s the kind of performance that can really help Iran, especially when the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers begin next month. Team Melli is set to face Iraq and then host Qatar. Though the Iranians are certainly deeper and bigger than both those teams, they will surely benefit from having someone like Niktash to keep defenses honest.

This is especially true now that the old reliables like Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, Mahdi Kamrani and Hamed Afagh won’t be around. Young players like Behnam Yakhchali and Sajjad Mashayekhi will certainly be at the top of the pecking order for Iran, but they still need someone like Niktash, who stands 2.03m, to give the team added size and versatility at the wing positions. He is actually big enough to also play the four spot against smaller teams, which can create interesting matchup problems favoring Iran.

There is no doubt that Iran is going to be among the heavy favorites to do well in the Asian Qualifiers and make it to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, and having someone like the Paris-born Niktash will only serve to make the former Asian champions that much stronger, the article concluded.


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