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Iran hangs tough against gritty Gilas in Jones Cup affair

Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAIPEI--Iran banked on a solid third quarter showing to edge out Gilas Pilipinas, 74-65, in their Jones Cup meeting at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium on Thursday.

The Iranians, who won by an average of 21.7 points a game in their first four outings before conceding an 66-81 defeat to Team USA Select on Wednesday, found themselves playing toe-to-toe with Gilas in the first half.

Iran finally began to get things going in the third, outrebounding Gilas, 11-5, in the said period and opening a double-digit spread before the latter came to within seven at the end.

Gilas even chopped Iran's lead to as low as four after back-to-back triples from J.C. Intal, but Iran held on and even stretched its advantage to as high as 13.

Despite the result already been settled, Matt Rosser still put up a show in the dying moments as he dunked past an Iranian player.

Hamed Haddadi, who entered the game averaging only a little more than ten markers a match, led Iran with a game-high 22.