News ID: 235207
Published: 0348 GMT December 03, 2018

Iran seals FIBA World Cup spot

Iran seals FIBA World Cup spot
Iran’s Mohammad Jamshidi (R) and Hamed Hosseinzadeh celebrate after the victory against the Philippines in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian Qualifiers in Manila, the Philippines, on December 3, 2018.

Mohamamd Jamshidi and Behnam Yakhchali scored a combined 47 points as Iran beat the Philippines 78-70 in Manila on Monday to secure a place at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

The Philippines seemed in good shape after a Beau Belga three gave them a 60-52 lead with eight minutes left in the pivotal match, but Iran made a lion's share of the big plays on both ends of the floor to steal the win by outscoring the host, 26-10, till the final buzzer, reported.

Jamshidi and Yakhchali were the chief difference-makers for Iran in the endgame, combining for 7-of-10 field goal shooting in the fourth quarter to dash any Philippine hopes of salvaging a win in the fifth window of the Asian qualifiers.

Jamshidi finished the game with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting while also adding seven assists and four rebounds. Yakhchali, meanwhile, dropped 21 points on top of seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

With both of them clicking in the fourth period, Iran hardly missed the services of Hamed Haddadi, Arsalan Kazemi, Sajjad Mashayekhi and Samad Nikkhah Bahrami. The Iranians also bucked the fouling out of their two main centers – Rouzbeh Arghavan and Maysam Mirzaei.

Jayson Castro returned to action and led The Philippines with 19 points, while Christian Standhardinger also did well with 17 points of his own.

The win secured Iran's hold of second place in Group F behind Australia, and it pulled the Philippines outside of the top three as Japan won its encounter with Kazakhstan to move up to 6-4, which is a game ahead of the Filipinos' 5-5 record.

When the Asian Qualifiers' final window commences next February, Iran will host Japan and Australia, while the Philippines goes on a tough two-game road trip to Qatar and Kazakhstan.


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