MANILA, Philippines – The William Jones Cup may only be a warm-up tournament that presages the FIBA Asia tournament later this month, but Asian rivals Gilas Pilipinas and Iran treated their match on Thursday, September 3 as if it was a gold medal match.
Matters got heated during the first half of their match after Iran center Hamed Haddadi was hit in the face by Ranidel De Ocampo of Gilas while going up for a shot. Tempers rose when Gilas big man Moala Tautuaa stepped in to get involved and was pushed. No one was hit with technical fouls, but the incident set the tempo for what will likely be one of the more physical matchups of FIBA Asia.
(FULL REPORT: Gilas rally falls short against Iran)
Later on, Oshin Sahakian of Iran was whistled for stepping underneath Jayson Castro as he took a three-pointer, a move that could’ve ended in an injury for the Gilas veteran.
Gilas has had its share of physical battles so far in the Jones Cup, with coach Tab Baldwin reportedly threatening to forfeit a match against a Russian side for dirty tactics.
Iran eventually won the match, 74-65, with Haddadi dominating with 22 points, 14 boards, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. The rematch may have a different tone as naturalized NBA veteran Andray Blatche is set to rejoin the team before then. – Rappler.com
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