Smart Gilas Pilipinas slayed the three-time defending Jones Cup champions Iran , 77-75, in the 2012 William Jones Cup in Taipei, Taiwan on Friday.
“They barely beat us last year and they celebrated too much. It stuck to my head and I won't forget it,” said Marcus Douthit.
The big man starred for the Philippines, getting a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds as Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood added 12 apiece.
Gilas had a comfortable 12-point advantage in the fourth before the Iranians slowly chipped away the lead.
“Hindi dapat dikit but we missed two open layups and four free throws,” said National team head coach Chot Reyes.
Ranidel De Ocampo missed two free throws with 19.4 seconds remaining in the game to give Iran possesion, with the Philippines up three, 76-73. The Iranians scrambled and got a tough reverse lay-up from Bahrami with 7.7 seconds remaining to cut the lead down to one, 76-75.
With 5.8 seconds, Iran was forced to foul Jeff Chan. The 2012 Governors' Cup Finals MVP split hit free throws to make it a two-point game, 77-75. Iran scrambled to get off a three at the final second but Kamrani's desperation three hit the back iron as the Philippines hung on to claim its fifth victory in six outings.
“Iran is a tough team. They never die. Very physical warriors. But we showed the heart of our team and how far we can go,” said Douthit.
“Tapos na sana ng maaga but it’s really different when you’re playing with the name of the country on your jersey. That’s something we have to learn and get used to,” added Reyes.
With the defeat, Iran also became 5-1 in the standings, but since the Philippines dispatched them, the Gilas squad possess the tiebreaker should things come down to that.
Gilas is scheduled to play Zhonghua (Chinese Taipei A) Saturday. - RAF/AMD, GMA News
Gilas 77 – Douthit 22, Norwood 17, Chan 12, Mercado 8, David 8, Fonacier 6, De Ocampo 2, Tenorio 0, Villanueva 0, Thoss 0
Iran 75 – Bahrami 26, Kardoust 16, sahakian 12, Afagh 8, Kamrani 5, Aslani 4, Nabipour 4, Atashi 0, Hamed 0
Quarters: 21-19, 33-33, 58-49, 77-75
WATCH THE FULL 4TH QUARTER REPLAY BELOW: