Meralco loses FIBA Asia Champions Cup finals spot to Iran’s Petrochimi

Delfin Dioquino
Meralco loses FIBA Asia Champions Cup finals spot to Iran’s Petrochimi
The Bolts, though, can still end their stint on a high note with a bronze medal

MANILA, Philippines – There will be no finals apperance for the Meralco Bolts in the 2018 FIBA Asia Champions Cup. 

The Bolts fell short of its finals bid in the club tournament after suffering a sorry 74-79 loss to Iran’s Petrochimi at the Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand on Monday, October 1. 

Allen Durham frolicked in the paint with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists but Meralco badly missed his services when it mattered most after he fouled out with 1:30 minutes left in the game. 

The Philippine bets were trailing by just 4 points down the stretch, 72-76, before Durham incurred his fifth foul as Petrochimi, which is chock-full of Iran national team players, sealed the victory and the trip to the finals. 

Import Diamond Stone chipped in 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while Garvo Lanete added 12 markers for Meralco, which could still end the tournament on a high note with a bronze medal. 

Behnam Yakhchali paced the Iranians with 29 points and 8 rebounds while Sajjad Mashayekhi chalked up 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Both are members of the Iran national squad in the World Cup qualifiers. 

Meralco entered the final frame with a slim 55-54 advantage but was not able come out victorious no thanks to Petrochimi’s 25-19 fourth-quarter output. 

The Bolts face the loser between Japan’s Alvark Tokyo and Korea’s SK Knights in the battle-for-third game on Tuesday, October 2. 

The Scores 

Petrochimi 79 – Yakhchali 29, Mashayeki 15, Kardoust 10, Pazrofteh 7, Mirza 6, Kazemi 6, Abadi 5, Arghavan 1.

Meralco 74 – Durham 29, Stone 15, Lanete 12, Tolomia 9, Amer 5, Hugnatan 4, Atkins 2, Canaleta 0, Caram 0. 

Quarters: 16-18, 33-34, 54-55, 79-74.

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.