Iran repulses gritty Philippine team in Tehran

A gallant Philippine stand in Tehran for three quarters went for
naught when Iran got three huge triples – two from center Rouzbeh
Arghavan and one from former Meralco Bolts import Mohammad Jamshidi –
gave Iran much needed separation to repulse the Pinoys for an 81-73
win.

After the Philippines’ Christian Standhardinger scored on a close stab
to make it 63-61, Iran, with 8:33 left to play, Jamshidi, who isn’t a
very good shooter, hit a wide-open shot to give his side a five-point
lead, 66-61.

Raymond Almazan trimmed a point away off a free throw after which
Iran’s point guard Sajjad Mashayeki, who returned to the game after
suffering an ankle sprain, hit a tough jump shot for a six-point lead,
68-62.

Both teams missed the next couple of shots then Standhardinger scored
underneath to cut the lead to four, 68-64. Then came the second of
Arghavan’s triples – this one from the right corner pocket, 71-64.

Benham Yakchali scored Iran’s next four points after which the
Philippines’ Marcio Lassiter, in his return to national team duty
after being a part of the first iteration of the Gilas program, hit
two free throws, 77-69, with 2:02 left.

Iran held on for the win, their sixth in seven matches.

An indication of how tight the match was being the 20 lead changes.

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

In the second half, though, veteran Iranian internationalist, the
35-year old 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 the Philippine team.

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 use the injured Hamed Haddadi, but
Meisam Mirzaei, Rouzbeh Arghavan and Mohammad Hassanzadeh all did a
good job of patrolling the paint in his stead.

Standhardinger 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.

Iran fly to Tokyo next to play Japan, while the Philippines return
home to host Qatar on 17 September