Tournament host Smart Gilas Pilipinas put up a gallant stand but fell to a tall Iran squad, 85-71 at the gold medal game of the 27th Fiba Asia championships held at the Mall of Asia (MoA) Arena. Missing naturalized center Marcus Douthit due to an injured calf, tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) Hamed Haddadi had his day in the paint with 29 points and 16 rebounds.
In the battle for 3rd place, South Korea secured the last Asian ticket to the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain with a 75-57 win over Chinese Taipei. 2011 Asian champion China managed to finish in a disappointing 5th place, winning over Qatar, 96-85.
Gilas Pilipinas managed to stay close in the opening period. Forcing five Iran turnovers from four steals, the Filipinos trailed by two, 15-17. The Filipinos even outscored the now 3-time Asian champions in the 2nd quarter, 19-18 to trail at…
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