Philippines stun favorites Iran, hosts improve to 4-2

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 - Page 18

The Philippines pulled off an upset win over previously undefeated Iran by a slim 77-75 margin on the seventh day of the William Jones Cup tournament at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium in Tianmu yesterday afternoon to take the lead in the standings with a 5-1 record.

The win came only a day after the Philippines were on the receiving end of a colossal upset loss to Lebanon (2-4) that had all but eliminated them from a title run, as many had expected them to lose to three-time defending champions Iran.

However, that was not the case as the underdogs played the Persians shoulder-to-shoulder over the first two quarters to end the first half with a 33-33 stalemate that surprised Iran.

That was not all as the Philippines picked up where they left off in the first half with a 25-16 run in the third quarter, led by Marcus Douthit and Gabe Norwood’s 15 combined points, to stifle the Persians and take a nine-point advantage.

Even though Iran would make a serious comeback attempt in the fourth, with top-scorer Samad Nikkhah Bahrami downing 15 of their 26 points, it was not enough to overcome the deficit as they fell short by a deuce.

Taiwan 84, Taiwan Guan-hua 66

Taiwan picked up a much-needed 84-66 win over their younger Guan-hua brethren in the sixth game for both teams last night, improving to a 4-2 record that was good enough to tie with South Korea for the fourth spot in the standings.

Though the outcome of the game did not surprise many, the Guan-hua squad showed no signs of inferiority as they enjoyed a lead deep into the third quarter, before surrendering it in an overwhelming fourth to lose by double digits in the end.

Yesterday’s other results:

‧ US 77, Jordan 66

‧ South Korea 84, Japan 62