WATCH: Highlights of Gilas Pilipinas’ win over Iran
Gilas Pilipinas ended its losing skid against defending champion Iran, 87-73, in the second round of the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China.
Andray Blatche and Jayson Castro starred for the Philippines, which topped the standings in Group E following the big victory over the erstwhile undefeated Iranians.
Blatche, who hurt his right ankle on Sunday in a tough win over Japan, was hardly bothered by his injury based on his performance with 18 points and seven rebounds while also holding his own against Iran’s star center Hamed Haddadi.
Haddadi was tasked to cover Blatche on the defensive end and had to exert more effort that usual in limiting the former NBA veteran, who’s more agile and quicker.
The 7-foot-2 giant was held to just 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with still 3:52 remaining.
Castro, like Blatche, gave the Iranians fits and wound up with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field while national team rookie Terrence Romeo added 15 points, most of which came in the third quarter where the Filipinos rallied from 10 points down.