MANILA, Philippines - Smart Gilas Pilipinas thumped Iran All Stars, 76-64, to barge into the semifinal round of the fourth Asian Basketball Association Club Championship 2010 in Haining, China yesterday.
It was the Nationals’ second straight victory following their 88-72 rout of Japan’s BJ League champion Hamamatsu Phoenix as they barged into the semis against the second placer of the other group.
“We beat an Iran team composed of eight national team players,” said Smart Gilas team manager Frankie Lim. “Everyone contributed, great teamwork.”
The weeklong tournament serves as part of the Nationals’ buildup for the Asian Games slated in November in Guangzhou, China.
RP actually struggled in the early going and barely grabbed a 34-29 lead at the break. But they settled down in the third and dominated their rivals with their run-and-gun game to fashion out the victory.
What made the win impressive was the Nationals did it without some of their key players, including Fil-Am Marcio Lassiter, Aldrech Ramos and JR Cawaling.