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Gilas secures impressive victory vs Iran in China pocket tourney opening
Gilas secures impressive victory vs Iran in China pocket tourney opening
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Gilas secures impressive victory vs Iran in China pocket tourney opening
by Mhillen Nicole Borja04 August 2023
Photo courtesy: Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas - SBP

Gilas Pilipinas secured a commanding victory against Iran with a final score of 76-65 during the Heyuan WUS International Basketball Tournament in China.

Despite being undermanned due to the absence of key players including Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson, prominent big man Kai Sotto, and the skilled Scottie Thompson, Gilas Pilipinas displayed a strong determination to learn and improve during its encounter with Iran.

The early momentum for the team was set by Dwight Ramos and Jamie Malonzo.

While newcomers AJ Edu, Calvin Oftana, and Rhenz Abando made a significant impact, contributing to one of the most impressive performances of the national team as they prepare for the FIBA World Cup.

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At halftime, Gilas held a narrow 40-34 lead, but they accelerated in the third period. CJ Perez took charge and scored a personal 7-0 run which pushed their lead to 13 points, 59-46.

Gilas widened the gap further to a 22-point lead, 69-47, courtesy of back-to-back and-one plays from Ray Parks Jr. and Calvin Oftana.

However, Iran staged a comeback, reducing Gilas' lead to 13, 69-56.

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Talented high-flyer AJ Edu sealed the victory with a powerful two-handed slam off an assist from Newsome, securing the final score at 76-65 in favor of Gilas.

With this triumph, Gilas Pilipinas now holds a 1-0 record, while Iran stands at 0-1.

The national team continues its preparations for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup in Manila which will commence on August 25.

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Next up, the Philippines will strive for consecutive wins on Friday as they face Senegal, who emerged victorious with an 85-75 score over Iran in the tournament's opening game on Wednesday night.

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