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Gilas Pilipinas bows down to imposing Iran



Gilas Pilipinas ran out of ways to stop a dominant Iran side as they fell to their counterparts, 65-74 Thursday in the 37th William Jones Cup at the Xin Zhuang Gymnasium in Taipei.

Hulking center Hamad Haddadi towered past the opposition, powering the West Asian side with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

Back to back triples by JC Intal which pulled Gilas within 61-65 halfway in the fourth prompted the Iranian crew to call for time.

Iran however responded on a strong note after, as Mohammad Jamshidi hit a three of his own while Haddadi scored a slam underneath, 70-61.

Gilas struggled to counter after the point, as Moala Tautuaa missed a trey, leading to baskets by Mohammad Hassanzadeh and Farid Aslani as Iran sealed the victory, 74-61 with less than a minute left.

Hamed Afagh added 13 points including 3-for-8 from downtown. Iran had a 40-28 rebounding edge including 16-6 in offensive boards as they generated more opportunities.

Asi Taulava had 12 points and 8 rebounds to lead the nationals while Jayson Castro and JC Intal each scored 10 points.

The Philippines was able to keep up with the slow pace against Iran early on, as Jayson Castro scored 8 of Gilas’ first 10 points in the match.

Iran trailed 9-10, although closed out the first quarter strong to take a 17-14 lead.

In the second frame, two consecutive long bombs enabled Iran to create separation at 31-24, although Tautuaa responded with 5 points in a 7-3 Gilas run which closed the first half at 34-31 in favor of Iran.

Haddadi then took over in the third period, asserting his might by scoring inside, giving Iran a double-digit spread at 52-42.

Things got worse for Gilas as Terrence Romeo sprained his left ankle and missed most of the second half.

Calvin Abueva made three straight baskets bridging the third and fourth periods to cut the deficit to within 53-56, before back and forth action ensued.

Iran however came with the more telling blows as the team improved to 5-1 overall.

The Scores:
Iran (74) – Haddadi 22, Afagh 13, Aslani 9, Jamshidi 9, Kamrani 7, Hassanzadeh 5, Saeid 4, Kardoust 2, Davari 2, Sahakian 1, Yakhchalidehkordi 0.
Philippines (65) – Taulava 12, Castro 10, Intal 10, Romeo 8, Tautuaa 7, Abueva 6, Pingris 4, Hontiveros 3, Norwood 2, Ganuelas 2, Thoss 1, De Ocampo 0.
Quarterscores: 17-14, 34-31, 54-47, 74-65.

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