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Jones Cup: Gilas Pilipinas faces tough test against fierce rival Iran

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Jeanh, Sep 3, 2015.

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    FIBA Asia/Nuki Sabio

    The Philippine national men’s basketball team takes a major test in its campaign as it battles fierce Asian rival Iran in the 37th William Jones Cup Thursday at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

    Gilas Pilipinas and Iran meet at 1 p.m. live on TV5. (Check out Jones Cup standings and schedules Please or Register to view links.)

    The match between the two teams is a crucial one, especially with the winner potentially being a few steps away from the Jones Cup title. The No.1 squad in the team standings at the end of the single-round robin play will be declared as champions.

    Iran and Russia are currently tied on top of the standings at 4-1 while Gilas Pilipinas is at third with a 3-1 slate. But the Filipinos hold the tiebreaker over the Russians after beating them on Tuesday, putting the Philippines in a good position for the title.

    But Gilas Pilipinas first has to go through the Iranians who are expected to give a tough outing to the Filipinos.

    The Philippines hasn’t beaten Iran for the past two years, most notably in their encounters in the FIBA Asia Championship finals in 2013 and the Asian Games in 2014.

    Coming off a rousing 75-60 win over Japan on Wednesday, Gilas Pilipinas is hoping to turn the tables on Iran this time around and finally take down Hamed Haddadi’s squad.

    Iran is coming off an 81-66 loss to USA on Wednesday, but Haddadi didn’t play in that game to rest.

    Before that defeat, Iran had won its first four games at the expense of South Korea (77-46), Chinese Taipei B (88-66), Japan (78-57) and New Zealand (83-70).

    Minus prolific swingman Nikkhah Bahrami, Iran is still boasting its successful core composed of Mahdi Kamrani, Oshin Sahakian and Mohammad Jamshidi, among others
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