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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gallant Gilas bows to Mahram-Iran in FIBA Champions Cup


MANILA, Philippines -- Smart-Gilas Pilipinas put up a courageous effort against reigning title-holder Mahram-Iran before eventually bowing out of contention in the FIBA-Asia Champions Cup semifinals, 80-77, on Saturday.

The Nationals were staring at a 7-point deficit just 43 seconds remaining in the game when Chris Tiu scored a lay up and a triple that cut Mahram’s lead, 77-75.

Nikkhah Bahrami's trip to the free throw line placed Mahram 3 points ahead, 78-75.

Jayvee Casio went for a quick layup to put the Nationals within striking distance, 78-77, with 12.7 ticks left.

Gilas then gave up a foul that again sent Bahrami to the free throw line. Despite drawing some boos from Filipino spectators, the Iranian sank both of his charities that placed the scores at 80-77.

With just 6.3 seconds remaining, Mark Barroca went for triple but missed. Marcio Lassiter later caught the loose ball but failed to connect on his 3-point attempt.

The Iranians then held on to the ball until the end of regulation.

The Nationals engaged the Iranians in a close fight in the first quarter, 20-21.

Mahram began establishing its dominance in the paint in the second quarter to erect a 45-39 lead.

The taller Iranians gave the Nationals some problems in the shaded area during the third quarter, forcing Gilas to shoot from the outside.

Marcus Douthit's persistence against Mahram's defenders, coupled by Casio’s efforts from the 3-point area, tied the game 62-all in the third.

The Iranians steadily built a 77-70 lead up to the last 3 minutes of the game.

They held the Nationals scoreless until Tiu's charge in the last 43 seconds.

Gilas will play for the bronze on Sunday against either Aatar's Al Rayyan or Lebanon's Al Riyadi.


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