|Marc Gasol tries to score a fadeaway against Hamed Haddadi. FIBA|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Iran fought gallantly but still came up short against Spain as the latter prevailed, 73-65, in the final game of the group stages of the FIBA World Cup in Guangzhou Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
The Spaniards pulled away from the Iranians in the final frame, outscoring them, 21-12, capped by the game-winning 8-0 run to break out of a 65-all tie.
Recently-crowned NBA champion Marc Gasol made 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal for Spain, which swept Group C.
Juancho Hernangomez and Victor Claver each added 11 points.
Mohammad Jamshidi paced Iran, which ended their group stage stint winless at 0-3, with 15 points, three rebounds, four assists, and one steal.
The result means Iran and Gilas Pilipinas Men, which went 0-3 too in Group D, will be on equal footing ahead of the classification phase as the race for the lone outright Olympic spot for Asia tightens.
Iran and Gilas Men will face off on Sunday to possibly determine which team will inch closer to the coveted spot, although they will still need to hope that China, which also fell to the classification round, loses both its games against Nigeria and South Korea.
Jordan still has a shot of getting some headway entering the classification phase as it goes up against Germany on Thursday for the third seed in Group G.
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