MOHAMMAD Jamshidi stepped up big time for Iran as he led the way with 26 points, four rebounds, and seven assists – coming away with a 78-70 win over Team Pilipinas in the fifth window of the ongoing FIBA Asian Qualifiers last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The win catapulted Iran to a 7-3 slate, good for second in Group F while the loss brought Philippines down to the fourth seed with a 5-5 record, especially with Japan winning over Kazakhstan in the game prior.
After trailing by as much as eight points midway in the final period, the Iranians went on to have a dizzying 26-10 run to end the game.
The game was nip and tuck all throughout as both teams took turns in taking the lead. However, mental mistakes piled up for Team Pilipinas – starting from June Mar Fajardo’s missed free throws with 2:20 left to multiple costly errors after Behnam Yakchali hit a highly-contested shot with 42.3 seconds left.
Jamshidi was backstopped by guys like Behnam Yakchali, Meisam Mirzaei, and Rouzbeh Arghavan, who poured in 21,11, and eight markers respectively.
As for Team Pilipinas, they were led by the impressive return of Jayson Castro, who’s had 19 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Supporting him were San Miguel standouts Christian Standhardinger and Marcio Lassiter who tallied 17 and 12 points respectively.
-As mentioned, Iran was able to capitalize on Philippines’ miscues as they were able to edge them with 17 points off turnovers, compared to Philippines’ eight.
-Team Pilipinas was also having trouble keeping Team Melli off the fast break, with the latter scoring 11 of from transition as compared to the only three for our national team.
-Iranian bruisers Mirzaei and Arghavan have given our bigs fits as they controlled the paint, notching 34 markers, compared to 24 only for the Philippines.
-On the flip side, Team Pilipinas was able to knock down a respectable 35-percent from rainbow country while Iran shot an abysmal 19-percent, a far cry from their last game.