Doha: Qatar coach Tim Lewis said that he had little time to prepare the team after they lost their opening match 70-82 against Kazakhstan at the 2018 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers on Friday.
“We have been together for just 10 days. We did a good job in the first half, but we could not sustain our level for full four quarters. We now need to focus on the matches against Iran and Iraq,” said Lewis, who was hired end of last month. “There were some positives and the team played much stronger defensively than I’d thought.”
Qatar will fly to Tehran where they meet Asian Cup runners-up Iran on November 27.
“Iran are one of the top teams in the world. They’re a progressive nation and the sport has really blossomed there. It is one of the tough teams you have got to compete with in Asia. They played in the FIBA Asia Cup finals,” he added.
The team's first round campaign in the tournament, played on a home-away format, will end in February, 2018 with a game against Iraq, who had beaten them at the Asia Cup.
Point guard Abdulrahman Saad, who also suffered an injury after landing a getting tip-in, said, “I think we must win at least the home game. It would have made things easy for us.”