Gilas PH blows title bid with pride intact


IRAN skipper Nikkhah Bahrami hoists the championship trophy awarded by Fiba Asia president Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al-Thani (left) and SBP head Manny V. Pangilinan (right). INQSnap for more photos. August dela Cruz

One day after reclaiming world-class status, the short-handed Gilas Pilipinas national five set out for a mop-up job to crown itself as Asia’s finest.

And the Filipinos—playing minus the injured 6-foot-10, naturalized center Marcus Douthit—fell way off the mark despite trying absolutely hard in front of 19,898 fans that included the country’s Chief Executive and its foremost modern-day boxing star.

Seven-foot-2 NBA veteran Hamed Haddadi was too much to handle and Nikkhah Bahrami proved too slippery as Iran turned back Gilas, 85-71, to win the 27th Fiba Asia Championship with an eight-game sweep last night at Mall of Asia Arena.

With Douthit riding the bench, the Filipinos were a little easier to handle as Iran won its third Asian title in the last four editions by going undefeated in nine games.

The loss was the second straight for the Filipinos in their last three clashes with Iran, with the only victory happening last year during a magical stint in the William Jones Cup in Taipei, where Haddadi wasn’t with the team.

Iran bounced back last September in the Stankovic Cup which it won in Tokyo. The Iranians also came into this 15-nation tournament fresh off their victory in this year’s Jones Cup.

Still, the Philippines can call their stint in this tournament a very successful, rewarding one after that 86-79 triumph over the Koreans—the Filipinos’ first since 1986—that put them back in the world championship next year in Spain.

BATTLE FOR TOP SPOT Gilas Pilipinas guard Jayson Castro attacks the defense of Iran formed by (from left) Hamed Afagh, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami and Hamed Haddadi as Filipino Japeth Aguilar looks on in the title game of the 27th Fiba Asia Championship on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena. Iran won, 85-71. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Team Philippines, which last played in the world championship in 1978, trailed by a mere point at halftime, 34-35, despite hitting just 58 percent from the free-throw line and making just 5-of-19 attempts from beyond the arc.

The last time the Filipinos led the Iranians came in the second half when Jason Castro hit two free throws for 36-35.

After that, Iran’s enormous talent on all fronts simply came to fore.

The Iranians shot an astounding 61 percent from two-point range as Haddadi worked practically unchallenged underneath. He came away with 29 points, 16 rebounds, the center’s spot in the Asian First Five and the tournament Most Valuable Player honors.

Castro, who led the Filipinos with 18 points, also made it to the mythical five as point guard. Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chih-chieh and young Korean shooter Kim Min-goo joined the elite list as forwards. Oshin Sahakian, who had 12 points, was awarded the power forward’s spot.

South Korea earlier claimed the last ticket to the world championship by crushing Chinese Taipei, 75-57, to place third.

In the battle for fifth place, defending champion China bested Qatar, 96-85.

The scores:

IRAN 85—Haddadi 29, Bahrami 19, Kamrani 15, Sahakian 12, Afagh 4, Sohrabnehad 2, Kardoust 2, Davoudichegani 2, Arghavan 0.

GILAS PILIPINAS 71—Castro 18, Alapag 13, De Ocampo 9, Tenorio 8, Chan 7, Aguilar 4, Pingris 3, Norwood 3, Fonacier 3, David 2, Fajardo 1.

Quarters: 17-15, 35-34, 62-53, 85-71

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  • rodben

    At last there was a good news from Pinas other than KAWATAN BY GOV’T OFFICIALS I am proud to all GILAS PLAYERS… hope big bonus for them to the up coming world competition MABUHAY KYONG LAHAT BOYS..

  • BahoPuwet

    didn’t see much Gilas players boxing out Haddadi in the paint.
    “body ‘ing” up Haddadi would’ve limited his effectiveness. Next time, get Manny Pac to punch him in the groin area – LoL

  • John Sulayman

    i-naturalize na natin si Shaquille O’Neal, para may matchup tayo kay Haddadi sa gitna!

    • AlzheimersC

      kung kaya natin ang presyo ni Shaquille at payag si Shaquille na maging naturalized Pinoy…why not? :)

    • maximus_meridius

      Retired at matanda na si Shaquille. Mamili ka na lang sa the following:
      – DeAndre Jordan
      – Javalle McGee
      – Roy Hibbert
      – Tyson Chandler
      – Marc Gasol
      – Dwight Howard
      – Joakim Noah

      • BahoPuwet

        none of these guys will come unless they’re on their way out of Commish Howard Stern’s league. Some of the BIGs in the NBDL are more realistic

      • alchemist00

        ano ba yan. gasol and howard di na pwede yan kasi they represented their mother countries already.

  • pilosopiya_at_paniniwala

    Sana makalaban ng Pilipinas ang USA, SPAIN, ARGENTINA, FRANCE at iba pang high caliber teams at manalo. Masupalpal sana ni Pingris si Gasol o kaya mag-crossover si Alapag kay Parker.

    • maximus_meridius

      Hindi masama ang managinip…Kunin na lang natin yung France – Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Joakim Noah, Nicholas Batum, Ian Mahinmi, Mikael Pietrus, etc…

  • on_hindsight

    As they say- No pain, no Spain. Go Gilas!

    At dun sa mga nag-decline due to personal reasons or whatever, well…we hear your “sayang!”

  • Twister12

    Now let these boys savour their hardships by putting us in the World Cup by not changing the entire lineup for Spain. Ang mga Superstars na nag declined dati sa pagsali sa Gilas line up ay magkukumahog ngaun para makasama sa Espanya. Reyes should never allow that. Those people are not patriotic & will just be there for limelight’s sake. And besides it is this team who work hard & put their health & livelihood at stake just to make the Filipino proud. So tsupi sa mga opurtunista at mga walang kwentang Pba superstar players.

    • maximus_meridius

      Can you enlighten us by naming who these PBA opportunist players are?

      • Twister12

        James Yap for one?

      • Guest

        Alaska owner Uytengsu did not allow Thoss and Abueva to play for the national team, kasi kailangan daw nilang maghanda sa susunod na PBA cup. And “FIBA lang” naman daw ‘yan. Hindi raw masyadong importante. How selfish and unpatriotic.

      • maximus_meridius

        “FIBA lang naman daw yan”. Are these really the words that came from Uytengsu’s mouth? If that’s the case, boycott natin Alaska products.

      • 1GeorgeTolentino2

        Obviously these were not the exact words even if maximus quoted the alleged statement. How he came to say that these were the exact words uttered only maimus knows.

      • patukar

        Maniniwala na sana ako kung di tsismis ang dating kaya lang baka paborito nito Alphine na gatas!

    • magiting78

      for sure Chot won’t do that….

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Our Gilas boys did not blow the title bid. There’s no doubt that our Gilas boys did their best. Our Gilas boys gave the towering Iranians one helluva a hurdle before letting them win their Persian gold. What our Gilas boys didn’t have in height, they more than made up for in fighting spirit of the heart. Our Gilas boys were clearly outsized and outreached but they were not about to throw in the towel nor lower the bar for themselves nor move the goalpost closer. Things however took a different turn when PNoy and his sister showed up for the game. PNoy’s very presence alone constantly gnawed at the spirit of our Gilas boys to settle for mediocrity. PNoy’s very presence alone constantly reminded our Gilas boys that honest hardwork is an exercise in futility in this country. Things got even worse when Ballsy made her presence felt by jumping up and down reminding our Gilas boys on court that cheating and extortion are the tried and tested routes to success. And that’s what ultimately broke the spirit of our Gilas boys — to see our nation led by a lifelong underachiever and chronic loser of a president, to see our national coffers raided by corrupt relatives surrounding the president. And that’s the inner devil that has bedeviled this nation for so long and held it back from becoming a champion in its own right.

    • damatannapo

      Another redundant Pnoy theories

    • Tanga ako_ MAGDUSA KAYO

      well, here you are again.. promoting your Pnoy’s hatred even in basketball.. blah, blah, blah… you’re just like a broken record…. get a life dude!!! all i can say is F _ _ K YOURSELF!!!

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        Your profanity betrayed your hatred. Why the hatred? What’s wrong with pointing out that PNoy’s presence politicized last night’s basketball game?

      • JamesJ

        Politicized? how about the previous games played by Gilas where plenty of politicians are also watching? what a non-sense reasoning you have. just purely PNoy-hater.

    • Gloria_Wheelchairroyo

      Blame it on Binay, only 2 times he watched the games and both times we lost to Taiwan and Iran. The moment his dark face was shown on TV, the momentum went to the other Team.

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        I was going to blame Binay but our Gilas boys said they never saw him. It’s probably the poor lighting.

      • magiting78

        hahaha Binay was on ring side he was coverd by the shadow of the ring…lol

    • Twister12

      kahit siguro pag ihi, pagdumi, paliligo at pag “ahem” mo si Pinoy na sa isip mo no heh he

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        No, I only mentioned his presence in relation to the loss of our Gilas boys. Please feel free to draw your own conclusions.

      • Twister12

        LOL. Kahit anong balita sinisisi at sinasama mo si Pnoy. Mukhang too personal na ah. Parang ang laki talaga ng nawala sau ng maupo si Pinoy sa Palasyo. Curious lang kasi kahit yata pagkapanganak mo sa mundong eto eh kasalanan nya heh he

      • Weder-Weder Lang


      • maximus_meridius

        I’ve mentioned before in another post that there are “cosmic forces” and “metaphysical elements” involved here. In this case dala ni Penoy yung mga “cosmic forces” at “elements” ng kamalasan. If one has a third eye, makikita nila na ang aura ni Penoy ay kulay itim. Hence kumalat tuloy yung kamalasan sa Gilas team ng nanood sya ng game sa MOA arena. The result? Natalo ang team Gilas.

      • damatannapo


      • Twister12

        Parang ung character sa “lakbay diwa” ng Asin heh he

      • Twister12

        Right. Kasalanan din ni Pnoy ngaun dahil may bagyo LOL!

    • galamalama

      A big heart and a very low field goal percentage will not win a game.

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        That’s right. And it certainly didn’t help to have an underachieving PNoy around reminding them that settling for low field goal percentage or mediocrity is a-okay. Just sayin’.

      • alchemist00

        sobrang galit mo kay PNoy no dre? pati sa basketball idinamay mo sya.

      • 1GeorgeTolentino2

        Yup totally agree. A big heart with more height and a higher field goal percentage will surely bring wonders!

  • AlzheimersC

    Hindi advisable na maging point guard ang isang 7 footer na katulad ni Haddadi kasi BABAGAL lang siya dahil “mas mataas ang kailangang talbog ng bola” para maabot ni Haddadi…malamang maagawan parati “sila” ng bola sa tuwing mag-didribol.

    As long na hindi “butas or bukas” ang ating CENTRO may chance tayo na manalo sa basketball ang mga bulinggit na katulad natin kasi may inherent din tayong advantage sa mga matatangkad lalo na pagdating sa mobility, dribbling with the ball of course.

  • Gloria_Wheelchairroyo

    Wow malas, 2 beses lang nanood si Black Binay ng laro parehas pa tayong talo sa Taiwan at Iran. Nung nakita ko kagabi si Binay sa TV alam ko na talo na naman tayo kahit dikit pa ang laban sa 1st half.

    • James Watdapak

      Pati kamo si Fredie Webb, pag sya panelist s sports 5 talo tayo or munitk muntikan na.

  • AlzheimersC

    Kapag wala iyang si Haddadi and Bahrami, sigurado babalik uli sa “dati” ang Iranian team na kinakaya kahit ng mga collegiate team natin.

    • James Watdapak

      Tama, Last Fiba asia wala si Bahrami dahil sa injury kaya sila na silat ng Jordan.

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