Gilas Pilipinas under new coach Yeng Guiao falls to Iran, 81-73, at the Azady Gym in Tehran, Iran in the second round of the FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.
Gilas wasted a spectacular game from Christian Standhardinger, who led the team with 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting. He added 12 rebounds and 6 steals.
Gilas' poor shooting from 3-point range doomed their chances for a win. Gilas went a dismal 5-for-28 from beyond the arc.
"We just couldn't make our shots," Guiao said. "The open threes didn't fall for us."
Standhardinger, coming off the bench in the first quarter, started hot. Playing as the naturalized member of the team, the Filipino-German erupted for 19 points in the first half, keeping Gilas within striking distance.
However, despite having their hands full with Standhardinger, Iran was still able to keep Gilas at bay with the stellar play of veteran Nikkah Bahrami and Sajjad Mashayekhi.
Scottie Thompson led a short rally in the third quarter with a 3-pointer and a slick dish to Standhardinger for a 49-46 lead. It was shortlived as Bahrahmi and Mohammad Jamshidi combined to put Iran back in control in the fourth quarter, 63-59.
Iran made all the big shots down the stretch and clamped on defense. Iran's defense held the Philippines to just nine points for the first eight minutes of the final quarter. Two free throws by Bahrami gave Iran their largest lead, 81-69, with 1:04 left in the game.
Iran was led by the veteran Bahrami who had 21 points and seven rebounds and Mashayeki added 19 points. Rouzbeh Arghavan filled in for an injured Hamed Haddadi and contributed eight points.
Haddadi didn't see action until the final minute with Iran firmly in control. Guiao lamented the missed opportunity to face Iran without its best player.
"Too bad, it was our chance. Haddadi wasn't playing for most of the game, and it could've been our chance," Guiao said. "But we still have a chance to play them [in Manila]."
Gilas Pilipinas drops to 4-3 in the newly created Group F, while Iran climbs to 6-1.
IRAN 81- Nik Khahbahrami 21, Mashayekhi 19, Naeini 11, Arghavan 8, Yakhchalidehkordi 7, Jamshidijafarabadi 6, Mirzaeitalarposhti 5, Saberi A 4, Davoudichegani 0, Mozafarivanani 0, Ehadadi 0
PHILIPPINES 73- Standhardinger 30, Cabagnot 9, Belga 7, Dalistan 6, Thompson 5, Almazan 5 Lassiter 4, Taulava 3, Sangalang 2, Norwood 2
- The game was also full of physical play, as two players from Gilas had to exit the game momentarily before returning. Beau Belga bled from the nose after a wayward elbow in the second quarter, while Marcio Lassiter was also dropped early in the third period after taking a shot in the face. No technicals were whistled on Iran.
"I felt the refs missed some calls," Guiao said. "I had two players that were bloodied and I just felt the referees could have put the game more under control."
Aside from Standhardinger (30 points), No other player scored in double digits for Gilas Pilipinas
Iran is at Japan on September 17
Philippines hosts Qatar on September 17