PH cagers in must-win game vs Iran | Inquirer Sports
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PH cagers in must-win game vs Iran

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:07 AM December 03, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

With its back against the wall, the Philippine team tackles a formidable Iran crew on Monday to keep a comfortable spot in the hectic qualifying series for the Fiba World Cup Championship slated next year in China.

Coach Yeng Guiao has tinkered with the lineup that took a shock 88-92 loss to Kazakhstan on Friday, tapping Christian Standhardinger as the country’s naturalized player and putting Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro back in the 12-man crew for their 7:30 p.m. game at Mall of Asia Arena.

Stanley Pringle, who scored 29 points against the Kazakhs, and 7-foot Greg Slaughter will sit out the match as Guiao goes for a quicker frontline lead by Standhardinger.

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There are only four spots left in the tournament proper and the Iranians can creep closer to one with a repeat over the Filipinos, whom they beat, 81-73, in Tehran last September.

Iran will still be without NBA veteran Hamed Haddadi and will be coming off its worst loss in the qualifiers, a 76-47 shellacking at the hands of Australia in Melbourne also on Friday.

But the Iranians won’t be easy pickings, with Mohammad Jamshidi, who played briefly as an import for Meralco in the PBA two years ago, carrying the scoring load.

Jamshidi is confident that “it’s going to be better for us in Manila.”
“Australia was a really tough team to play. In Manila, we have a better chance to beat them (Filipinos) and be in the World Cup (proper),” Jamshidi said in a Fiba.com report.

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With a 5-4 record, it will be the last homestand for the Filipinos, who will fly to Qatar and Kazakhstan in February for the sixth window to round out their schedule.

The Philippines is tied with Japan for third spot in Group F.

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After groupmate Australia (8-1) and Group E’s New Zealand (9-1) and South Korea (8-2) booked the first three slots after wins on Friday, the game against Iran will be critical for the Philippines in its bid for a second straight worlds stint since Spain in 2015.

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TAGS: Basketball, Yeng Guiao

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