Lethal on both ends of the floor, Smart Gilas Pilipinas took down Asian champion Iran, 73-59, at the start of the 2011 William Jones Cup Saturday night in Hsinchuang, Taiwan.
Naturalized Filipino Marcus Douthit provided the scoring punch as well as the inside presence with 24 points, 11 rebounds and two swats.
The six-foot-11 center didn’t back down from the challenge and went toe-to-toe with Iran’s behemoth Hamed Haddadi.
The Philippine five led by as much as 16, 54-38 at the end of the third credited to an effective defensive stand as they limited Iran to just five-of-30 shooting from the field.
Co-skipper Mark Barroca chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds while JV Casio added 11 markers.
It marked the first time in three years that the Nationals were able to thwart Iran, which is ironically the former squad of Smart Gilas head coach Rajko Toroman.
SMART GILAS 73 – Douthit 24, Barroca 13, Casio 11, Baracel 8, Aguilar 6, Tiu 4, Taulava 2, Hontiveros 2, Lassiter 2, Ballesteros 0, Lutz 0, Ababou 0.
IRAN 59 – Haddadi 25, Kamrani 18, Davarpanahfard 7, Sohrabnejad 3, Veisi 2, Kardoust 2, Nabipoor 2, Boragh 0, Davoudichegani 0, Sahakian 0, Rouzbahani 0.
Quarters: 17-12; 37-30; 54-38; 73-59.