Gilas Pilipinas behind by one vs Iran at halftime in FIBA Asia finaleBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas trailed by as much as nine before rallying for only a 34-35 deficit against a favored Iran five in their gold medal match of the 27th FIBA Asia men’s Championship Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Jayson William led the Philippines, which pulled to within one after a buzzer beating triple by Larry Fonacier, with 11 points.
The game had a brief interruption due to a clock malfunction.
The match was stopped at the 6:31 mark of the second quarter after Hamded Hadadi’s two-handed dunk gave the Iranians a 26-20 lead.
Iran, which dominated Chinese Taipei in the semifinals, was hardly affected by the 10-minute lull as it stretched its lead to nine, 32-23.
The seven-foot-two Hadadi did not score until the final 52 seconds of the opening quarter but has imposed his will since with nine of his 11 points coming in the second period.