Iran celebrate after their third successive victory saw them comfortably finish top of their group ©FIBA

Defending champions Iran have eased into the second round of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asian Championship today after a third successive victory in their Group, this time by a 122-42 margin over Malaysia.

Palestine and hosts China also continued their unbeaten records with further victories in the cities of Changsha and Hunan, but Qatar suffered a surprise loss to previously winless Taiwan.

Iran, who beat host Philippines 85–71 in the final in Manila two years ago, dominated from the outset and eased into a 35-5 lead over their outclassed opponents after the first quarter.

The match was essentially over as a meaningful contest by that point as the bigger and more experienced Iranian side proved stronger in all areas.

Mohammad Hassanzadeh led the way with 28 points as they ruthlessly pressed home their advantage.

Asghar Kardoust also impressed with 24 points, while Sajjad Mashayekhi and Mahdi Kamrani tallied 14 and 15 points respectively. 

Taiwan gained a big victory over Qatar in the day's surprise result at the Asian Championship ©FIBA
Taiwan gained a big victory over Qatar in the day's surprise result at the Asian Championship ©FIBA

After narrow defeats to Lebanon and Kazakhstan in their opening two matches, Taiwan salvaged some pride from a frustrating tournament with a 72-65 victory.

Chih-Chieh Lin scored 14 points and Quincy Davis III had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Taiwanese, who, unlike group winners Qatar, still fail to qualify for the second round.

Lebanon recovered from a double-overtime setback to Qatar yesterday with a 91-55 triumph over Kazakhstan to finish second behind the Qataris in Group D.

In Group B, Palestine continued their great form by beating Hong Kong, 85-79. led by 24 points for Imad Qahwash, while Philippines swept past Kuwait 110-64.

China enjoyed a comfortable 84-67 victory over Jordan in Group C, storming to victory after overcoming a sluggish start.

Other winners today were Japan, who beat India 83-65, and South Korea, who demolished Singapore 87-45. 

Twelve of the 16 participating nations progressed to the second round, with only Malaysia, Kuwait and Singapore missing out as well as Taiwan.

The overall winners of the continental event will book a spot at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Three places are also up for grabs at the Olympic qualifying tournament.

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