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Monday, September 28, 2015

Gilas Pilipinas upsets defending champion Iran in FIBA Asia 2015 (VIDEO)

The Philippine national men’s basketball team finally solved the puzzle of Iran as Gilas Pilipinas toppled its long-time tormentor and defending champion, 87-73, in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship on Monday at CSWC Dayun in Changsha, China.
Gilas Pilipinas upsets defending champion Iran in FIBA Asia 2015 (VIDEO)
Jayson Castro exploded for 26 points to go along with three assists and three steals to pace Gilas Pilipinas. Andray Blatche, who suffered an ankle injury last game, added 18 points and seven boards.
Newcomers Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva provided the firepower off the bench, scoring 15 and 13, respectively, as they were instrumental in the second half comeback by the Filipinos.

The Filipinos trailed by as much as 10 points in the third quarter but a furious fightback allowed them to overcome the Iranians.The win was crucial for Gilas Pilipinas as it is now poised to grab the top spot in Group E and avoid a clash with host China in the knockout stages until the final.

Gilas Pilipinas engaged Iran, dominant all tournament long, in a tight battle right at the opening tip, unleashing a zone defense. With Blatche defending him, Iran star center Hamed Haddadi also couldn't lord it over at the post like he used to.

PHILIPPINES VS IRAN GAME HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO
[[ PHILIPPINES vs IRAN FULL GAME REPLAY VIDEO. CLICKHERE TO WATCH ]]
But Blatche was slapped with two early fouls in the first period. Gilas Pilipinas gambled and let him stay on the floor as the Filipinos grabbed a 17-11 lead after five straight points courtesy of a Gabe Norwood jumper and a Castro triple.

The Iranians, however, regained the lead, 25-22, after their guards took advantage of Blatche’s foul situation and drove their way relentlessly to the basket for layups.

Gilas Pilipinas was able to stay close against Iran in the second quarter until Castro committed two straight costly errors. That opened the door for the Iranians to take their biggest lead at the half at nine points, 43-34.

Ranidel De Ocampo sank a triple right before the halftime buzzer as the Filipinos trimmed their deficit to six at the break.

Iran extended its lead to 10, 47-37, after Nikkhah Bahrami sank a free throw and a triple off an unsportsmanlike foul from Castro early in the third period.

But the Filipinos countered with a huge fightback. Gilas Pilipinas launched a 9-0 run to stay close against Iran.

Gilas Pilipinas’ gunners then finally clicked as Romeo’s two straight triples put the Filipinos back on top, 58-57.

Terrence Romeo then sank a tough floater while Castro and Abueva connected to ignite Filipinos’ blitz to a 64-57 lead. Gilas Pilipinas carried a 65-60 lead entering the final frame.

The Filipinos maintained a seven-point spread in the fourth quarter behind the energy plays of Abueva.

Gilas Pilipinas led by as much as 14 points, 86-70, after Romeo free throws with 32 ticks left.

Bahrami scored 21 points to lead Iran while Haddadi only managed to score 10 points as he was visibly beaten by Blatche in their matchup.

It was the first loss of tournament for Iran which had won its first four games by an average margin of 49 points.

Gilas Pilipinas just needs to get the job done over India on Tuesday to formally clinch the No.1 spot in Group E.

 source: interaksyon.com
 

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