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Team Pilipinas tried a desperate rally with a barrage of 3-point shots but just wasn’t enough bowing to defending champion Iran, 78-88 in the FIBA Asia Men’s Basketball Championship in Tianjin, China.

RP 5 fell behind early 38-14, but slowly chipped in the lead with Willie Miller’s 3 cutting it to single digit 82-73. But Iran’s lead was just too large to overcome and held on to remain undefeated.

The expected blowout by Iran didn’t come as the Philippines’ searing rally in the second half kept the game close. They next play Kuwait in probably a tune-up for the quarterfinals.

The scores:

Iran 88 – Nikkhah 25, Ehadadi 21, Kamrani 14, Sahakian 11, Davari 10, Afagh 5, Tadjik 2, Doraghi 0, Davoudichegani 0.

Philippines 78 – Miller 14, Yap 14, Norwood 13, Baguio 11, Helterbrand 9, Dillinger 9, Thoss 4, Pennisi 3, Taulava 1, Aguilar 0, Raymundo 0, Santos 0.

Quarters: 27-14, 51-34, 74-58, 88-78

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