The visiting team Philippines unable to take advantage the Hamed Haddadi-less team Iran when the two teams clashed in Tehran, Iran as the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers opened its second round.
Going to the game, the Filipino squad’s plan is to keep the game close and steal the game in the end. However, in the last quarter, the home team caught fire and built a lead that protected them from any opponent’s comeback and sealed the victory.
Played as the team’s naturalized player, San Miguel Beermen’s forward Christian Standhardinger led Gilas with his 30 points and 12 rebounds. His double-double output wasn’t enough to topple the Iranian squad.
“We just couldn’t make our shots. We normally make open shots. The open threes did not fall for us. Haddadi was not playing for most of the game, it could have been our chance,” said team Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao.
Philippines able to stick to their game plan as they kept the game was from first quarter until third but team Iran unleashed an 11-point spurt in the final period. Nikkah Bahrami led the Iran’s attack as he scored four straight points and put his squad ahead, 77-66.
Gilas fought back and cut the lead back to a single-digt at eight points but their opponent found an answer as Meisam Mirza and Nikkah Bahrami kept the driver seat on their side.
As the lead of Iran became out of reach, the host team fans cheered as their main man Hamed Haddadi entered the basketball court with only 56 seconds to play.
With the victory, Iran now have 6-1 slate in the standings and shared the top spot with the Australian Boomers. For team Philippines, they have now 4-3 card and currently at third spot in Group F.
Nikkah Bahrami led his team with 21 points, eight rebounds and dished out four assists. Sajjad Mashayekhi chipped in with 19 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals while Arsalan Kazemi logged 11 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Apart from Standhardinger, there are no Gilas player reached in double figures. His SMB teammate Alex Cabagnot is on the borderline with nine points and five assists.
Just like Cabagnot who see in Gilas uniform for the first time, Scottie Thompson chipped in with five points, three rebounds and three assists.
One area where team Pilipinas performed poorly was on its shooting percentage. They shot 39% compared to 49% of Iran.
Next schedule for Gilas is on Monday, September 17 and they’ll face team Qatar in a closed-door match but will be televised live.
Gilas vs Iran Box Score
Quarters: 21-22 | 40-38 | 63-59 | 81-73
Iran (81) – Bahrami 21, Mashayekhi 19, Kazemi 11, Arghavan 8, Yakhchali 7, Jamshidi 6, Mirza 5, Hassanzadeh 4
Philippines (73) – Standhardinger 30, Cabagnot 9, Belga 7, Lee 6, Almazan 5, Thompson 5, Lassiter 4, Taulava 3, Sangalang 2, Norwood 2