MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Men 3×3 frittered away a sizable lead and absorbed a stunning 14-11 loss to Iran in their opening game in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in Singapore on Friday, March 31.
Sitting on an 11-7 cushion, the Filipinos went scoreless in the final 1:30 minutes and allowed the Iranians to go on a win-stealing 7-0 run as they slumped to an inauspicious start in Pool D.
The Philippines, led by Almond Vosostros and Brandon Bates, needs to win its final pool stage game against Qatar later on Friday to gain a chance at qualifying for the quarterfinals.
Only the top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the knockout rounds.
Bates tallied a team-high 5 points, draining back-to-back buckets that gave Gilas Men a 9-7 edge before Vosotros extended that advantage to 11-7 off a two-pointer with 1:30 minutes left.
That lead, though, did not last long.
Piter Girgoorian scored 4 points in a row to level the score at 11-11 and Mohammadsina Vahedi put Iran in the front seat, 12-11, with a short stab with 15 seconds remaining.
The Philippines caught a break when Iran incurred a technical foul, but Vosotros missed the game-tying technical free throw.
Girgoorian then sealed the win with a pair of foul shots as he finished with 7 points to show the way for Iran, which won all of its three games in the qualifiers to reach the main draw.
Vosotros chalked up 4 points in the loss, while Jorey Napoles added 2 points. – Rappler.com
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