Gilas Pilipinas escapes Iran to reach Asian Games semifinals

Justin Brownlee leads Gilas Pilipinas past Iran in the Asian Games basketball quarterfinals. –POOL

MANILA, Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas averted disaster on Tuesday, holding off Iran late for an 84-83 victory in the 19th Asian Games quarterfinals in Hangzhou, China.

Justin Brownlee had 36 points for the Filipinos, who reached the continental meet’s semifinal for the first time since 2002.

The Nationals led by as many as 21 points but squandered that lead in the final frame, where the Iranians even managed to wrest control of the game in the final minute of the contest at Zhejiang University Gymnasium.

June Mar Fajardo finished with 18 points and eight rebounds while Scottie Thompson had 11 and six as this hastily-assembled Gilas squad continues its run in the Asian Games.

The Philippines will take on China next. The hosts are eager to make Gilas pay for a 96-75 loss in the Fiba World Cup last month at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores

Gilas Pilipinas 84 – Brownlee 36, Fajardo 18, Thompson 11, Oftana 7, Perez 6, Kouame 4, Newsome 2, Alas 0, Tolentino 0, Aguilar 0.Iran 83 – Vahedi 24, Rezaeifar 14, Mirzaeitalarposhti 12, Aghajanpour 11, Girgoorian 8, Mashayekhi 6, Kazemi 6, Pazirofteh 2, Shahrian Nasl 0, Gholizadeh Tousarani 0, Torabi 0.

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