Iran Humbles Philippines 81-73

Iran Humbles Philippines 81-73
Iran Humbles Philippines 81-73

Iran repelled a spirited Philippines to start the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers with an 81-73 victory at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Thursday.

Things were tight between the sides throughout the game, which featured a staggering 20 lead changes, reported.

Christian Standhardinger carried the fight early for the Philippines with 19 points in the first half, while Sajjad Mashayekhi impressed with 13 points in the first two periods.

In the second half, though, veteran Samad Nikkhah Bahrami took over, scoring, assisting and making one big play after another to help the home team put some distance between themselves and Team Pilipinas.

As the game came to a close, Iran’s size and depth proved to be too much for the visitors who were without key players Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo and June Mar Fajardo.

Team Pilipinas were led by Standhardinger, who finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while shooting 10-of-14 from the field. He was the only Filipino in double-digit scoring.

As for the victors, Bahrami tallied 21 points, 8 boards and 4 assists, while Mashayekhi filled the stat-sheet with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals to his name. Iran sparingly used the injured Hamed Haddadi, but Meisam Mirzaei, Rouzbeh Arghavan and Mohammad Hassanzadeh did a good job of patrolling the paint in his stead.

This was Iran’s sixth win in seven games, while the Philippines absorbed their third defeat against four victories.

Iran will get to Tokyo to play Japan, while the Philippines return home to host Qatar on September 17.

Up from Group D, Iran has lost only one match to Iraq 74-66 in Amman, Jordan, last November. But in a game of vengeance Iranians thrashed the Iraqi side 83-53 in February.

In the current FIBA World Ranking, Iran is 25th and Philippines 30th. In the latest international show, Iran finished second in the Jakarta Asian Games losing the final game to China.

The next FIBA Basketball World Cup will be held in China, August 31-September 15, 2019 with 32 teams.

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