Philippines falls to Iran, stays in top 3 of Group F in World Cup qualifiers
The Philippines bowed to Iran, 81-73, in the second round of the group stage of the 2018 Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers Thursday at Azady Gym in Tehran.
Gilas Pilipinas, though, remained in the top 3 of Group F with a 4-3 record while Iran leapfrogged Australia and get to a 6-1 record to take the top spot of the group.
Top three teams of the two groups and the better of the fourth placed teams will get to the world stage.
The Filipinos have a chance for a quick turnaround as they face Qatar on Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in a closed-door game.
In a match that saw a lot of hits that could’ve ignited an unfortunate incident, including one that bloodied Marcio Lassiter, it was the Iranians who got control for much of the contest.
The Philippines trailed by just two at the start of the fourth, 63-61, after Christian Standhardinger’s jumper but that was the precursor to Iran’s display of power.
Iran went on a slow 14-5 run that ended with 2:48 left in the game after Mohammadsamad Nik Khahbahrami made a couple of free throws for the 77-66 lead.
Nik Khahbahrami led Iran with 21 points and eight rebounds.
Iranian superstar Hamed Ehadadi sat out most of the contest and only came into the game after it was virtually decided.
Standhardinger had a game-high 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Philippines.
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