Epic collapse for Gilas Pilipinas as Iran takes crucial road win
Paul Lintag on Dec 03, 2018 09:25 PM
The Philippines failed to execute literally anything in the end and Iran took a crucial 78-70 road win Monday in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the MOA Arena.
MANILA, Philippines --- This was an absolute collapse on Gilas Pilipinas.
The Philippines failed to execute literally anything in the end and Iran took a crucial 78-70 road win Monday in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the MOA Arena here.
Benham Yakhchali and Mohammad Jamshidi killed Gilas' momentum in the final minute, allowing the Iranians to snap a two-game slide to maintain solo second place in Group F.
Yakhchali drilled a clutch go-ahead jumper over Scottie Thompson for a 71-70 lead with 42.3 seconds to go.
After Gilas botched two straight possessions, giving up a turnover and an offensive rebound to Iran, Yakhchali drained another three free throws for a six-point lead, 76-70.
Adding insult to injury, the Philippines turned the ball over again in its final play, allowing Jamshidi to score the game's final basket.
"We knew that this game is difficult for both teams," Iran head coach Mehran Shahintab said.
"Because winning this game will go to World Championship. You know, I think it was a great game for both sides. I think my players knew that they had a very good opportunity against the Philippine team," he added.
Losing back-to-back home games, Gilas Pilipinas is now in fourth place in Group F with an even 5-5 record right behind Japan (6-4, with a six-game winning streak) and Iran (7-3).
RETURN OF THE BLUR
The Philippines was up by eight, 60-52, before Jamshidi sparked a devastating 15-2 run for the Iranians.
Jamshidi scored 12 points in that stretch, giving Iran a 67-62 lead, with less than five minutes left. Jayson Castro would drive Gilas back, with a desperation three to beat the shot clock capping a quick 6-0 blast for a 68-60 advantage.
The Philippines led for the last time, 70-69, after a June Mar Fajardo score but that only set up Yakhchali and Jamshidi's heroics on the other end.
"Well, of course we're disappointed, not just about the match but for the whole window," Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said.
"For a while there we thought we had a really good chance of winning the game. For the most part of the game we were holding on to a small lead and we were on the verge of breaking out. It just did not happen and towards the end game, I felt it's a lack of maturity for our team," he added.
Castro almost single-handedly lifted Gilas Pilipinas in the first seven minutes of the second half, scoring Gilas' first eight points of the third quarter.
Once he checked out, Scottie Thompson provided the energy, with his usual rebounding prowess leading to an assist to Fajardo that got the crowd excited, 51-47.
Castro returned to end the quarter and in Gilas' final play, the Blur drew the double team before finding Standhardinger for a baseline jumper, giving the Philippines a 54-50 lead.
The Philippines had its best start at home in the Asian Qualifiers, with the impact of the returning Castro felt almost immediately.
Castro ignited the Gilas offense, leading to better fluidity overall.
The Blur scored two early layups on his own and then facilitated Marcio Lassiter's initial burst.
Lassiter drilled three triples in the first quarter alone, helping Gilas Pilipinas get a head start on the Iranians. However, Benham Yakhchali beat the buzzer with a triple and the Philippines only took a one-point lead, 20-19.
Both offenses slowed down in the second period as the defense kicked in.
Still, the Philippines maintained distance thanks to the work of Christian Standhardinger, whose unorthodox way continuing to be effective against Iran.
The Fil-German forward led Gilas in scoring in the loss to Tehran with 30 points. He had 11 at the break, tied with Lassiter, to pace the national team in scoring.
Returning after serving his FIBA suspension, Castro led Gilas Pilipinas is scoring, finishing with 19 points, 15 in the second half.
Standhardinger added 17 points and eight rebounds while Marcio Lassiter dropped 12 points, unfortunately, he only scored one point in the second half before fouling out late in the fourth.
For the Iranians, Jamshidi scored 26 points, 16 in the final quarter, on top of seven assists and Yakhchali was good for 21 markers.
Gilas Pilipinas returns to action in February of 2019, playing Qatar and Kazakhstan on the road.
IRAN 78 -- Jamshidijafarabadi 26, Yakhchalidehkordi 21, Mirzaeitalarposhti 11, Arghavan 8, Hassanzadeh 7, Mozafarivanani 3, Hosseizadeh 2, Davoudichegani 0, Rezaeifar 0, Torabi 0, Sedighi 0.
PHILIPPINES 70 -- Castro William 19, Standhardinger 17, Lassiter 12, Fajardo 8, Wright 4, Rosario 3, Belga 3, Aguilar 2, Santos 2, Norwood 0, Thompson 0, Tenorio 0.
Quarters: 19-20, 35-39, 50-54, 78-70.
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