Asian Games: Gilas escapes late Iran comeback to seal semis date with China

June Mar Fajardo scores on a layup. PSC-POC Pool
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Gilas Pilipinas heaved a sigh of relief in the end as Iran could not finish a fourth-quarter surge and dropped an 84-83 decision in the Asian Games men's 5x5 basketball quarterfinals on Tuesday in Hangzhou, China.

Behind a blistering start, Gilas was on track to deal Iran a bad beat and led, 64-43, with 4:26 left in the third quarter before settling for a 71-54 advantage at the end of the quarter.

Iran, however, stormed back in the fourth quarter and even took the lead, 83-82, with 1:02 remaining.

Justin Brownlee, though, converted a floater with 44 seconds left to put Gilas back up.

Matin Aghajanpour tried to give Iran the lead again, but he missed a three-pointer and the team let Gilas milk the remaining 22 seconds of the game.

Brownlee fired 36 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals to lead Gilas, which will battle host team China, an 84-70 winner against South Korea in another quarterfinal, in the semifinals on Wednesday night.

June Mar Fajardo added 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and one steal for Gilas.

Mohammadsina Vahedi led Iran with 24 points, one rebound, and one assist.

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