Philippine Basketball News 2018: Gilas Pilipinas failed to conquer the Iran NT which played almost the entire game without Hamed Haddadi this Thursday in the FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers in Tehran. Gilas threw away the impeccable game of Christian Stanhardinger who dropped 30 points and 12 rebounds. He was nearly unstoppable inside the paint against Iran’s other bigs.
➤ Veteran gunner Samad Nikkah Bahrami hit clutch baskets and finished with 21 markers and 8 boards to lead Iran with an 81-73 win, while quick guard Sajjad Mashayekhi contributed 19 buckets and 4 dimes.
➤ Haddadi did not play the whole three quarters, except in the fourth with 56 seconds left, when they were away big and assured of a victory. It was reported that Haddadi was actually nursing a groin injury.
➤ The Filipinos fought tooth and nail against the Iranians up until the final three minutes when Iran registered an 11 point lead, 77-66, courtesy of Bahrami dagger shots.
➤ Gilas failed to capitalize on the absence of Haddadi on the floor as they shot a dismal 5 of 28 (17.9%) clip from the rainbow country. Both Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter shot a woeful 1 of 7 threes from the arc, while Paul Lee Dalistan shot blanks on 0 of 2 treys.
➤ The game also got physical on two instances as Beau Belga was hit in the kisser with an elbow by Bahrami, and later a bloodied Lassiter was clipped in the face by Arsalan Kazemi.
➤ The Philippine basketball team is in a must-win situation against Qatar NT this Monday, September 17 at the Araneta Coliseum.
➤ Gilas is now third (4-3) in their FIBA grouping followed by Japan and Kazakhstan who are at 4th with a 3-4 slate. Only the top three from Group F will go ahead to play in the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2019 in China.