Gilas Pilipinas succumbed to powerhouse Iran, 65-74, on Thursday for its second loss in the 2015 William Jones Cup being held at the Xinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
The Philippines thus dropped to fourth place with a 3-2 card while Iran kept the solo lead with five wins against one loss. Taiwan-A and Spartak Primorye-Russia are tied in the No. 2 spot with identical 3-1.
Veteran Asi Taulava topscored for Gilas Pilipinas with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks, and Jayson Castro and JC Intal added 10 markers each.
Terrence Romeo was limited to just eight points in 15 minutes of play Filipino-Tongan Moala Tautuaa had seven and Calvin Abueva got six.
Iran proved too much against the Philippines as it dominated the paint with 40 points, grabbed 43 rebounds and got 14 second chance points.
The Filipinos could only churned out 18 points and 32 boards in the shaded lane with six second chance points. They also connected just five of the 18 attempts in the three-point area, far from their 12 triples against Japan last Wednesday.
Three-time Asian Championship Most Valuable Player Hamed Haddadi had a double-double 22 points and 14 rebounds for Iran with Afagh Hamed backing him up with 13 points and Jamshidi Mohammad and Aslani Farid contributing nine each.
Gilas Pilipinas continues its campaign today as it faces Wellington Saints-New Zealand at 1 p.m.
Wellington Saints-New Zealand, currently holds a 1-3 mark, will be bannered by Bryan Davis, Eric Devendorf and Ray Turner – the team’s scoring machines in their last four games.
Davis averaged 17.0 points, 8.33 rebounds and 1.67 assists while Devendorf had 16.0 points and 4.0 rebounds averages.
Turner fired 24 points when they lost to South Korea, 70-74, in their last game. He had an average of 12.33 points and 8.0 boards.
Gilas Pilipinas battles US Select-Overtake (September 5, 7 p.m.) and Taiwan-B (September 6, 1 p.m.) in the final two days of the competitions.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche is reportedly coming back on September 5, in time for Gilas Pilipinas’ final assignment versus the young Taiwanese squad. The 6-foot-11 former NBA player went to Los Angeles, California to attend to his uncle’s funeral.
The Filipinos are looking to reclaim the crown they last won in 2012.
Overall, the Philippines has four Jones Cup titles including the 1998, 1985 and 1981, and three third-place finishes (2011, 2007 and 2005).
Gilas Pilipinas is revving up for the 2015 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Championship scheduled on September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China.
Iran (74) – Haddadi 22, Hamed 13, Mohammad 9, Farid 9, Mahdi 7, Hassanzadeh 5, Saeid 4, Asghar 2, Javad 2, Yonas 0, Behnam 0.
Philippines (65) – Taulava 12, Castro 10, Intal 10, Romeo 8, Tautuaa 7, Abueva 6, Pingris 4, Hontiveros 3, Norwood 2, Rosser 2, Thoss 1, De Ocampo 0.
Quarterscores: 17-14; 34-31, 54-47; 74-65.