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The two teams face off at 7 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Manila) with Guiao and his troops looking to build on the 4-2 win-loss record coach Chot Reyes’ Gilas squad posted in the first round of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
FIBA.com
Christian Standhardinger joins Gilas in Iran
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Coach Yeng Guiao opted for the hardworking Christian Standhardinger over the spitfirish Stanley Pringle and tapped five new faces to backstop the Jakarta Asiad veterans as Team Philippines resumes its quest for a berth in the 2019 FIBA World Cup against West Asian power Team Iran at the Azady Gym in Tehran tonight.

The two teams face off at 7 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Manila) with Guiao and his troops looking to build on the 4-2 win-loss record coach Chot Reyes’ Gilas squad posted in the first round of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

Guiao went for firepower and hustle as the Filipinos try to neutralize the taller, heftier Iranians, led by 7-foot-2 giant Hamed Haddadi, at the start of the second round of the WC eliminator.

Guiao chose Standhardinger over Pringle as the naturalized player and added sweet-shooting Marcio Lassiter and San Miguel Beer teammate Alex Cabagnot, Barangay Ginebra’s workhorse Scottie Thompson, Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang and Blackwater’s Allein Malicsi to Asiad holdovers Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Paul Lee, JP Erram, Gabe Norwood and Asi Taulava.

Although Greg Slaughter has been cleared by FIBA as a natural-born Filipino, the Ginebra stalwart sustained a sprained ankle in their last game in the PBA against NorthPort.

Minus Slaughter, Standhardinger could well be Team Phl’s main matchup for Haddadi, Team Iran’s main man who normed 16.8 points and 12.0 rebounds in the WC qualifiers.

The other Iranian forces to reckon with are Nikkhah Bahrami (12.8 points, 6.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds), Behnam Yakhchalidehkordi (15.5 markers and 5.5 boards) and Sajjad Mashayekhi (10.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists).

Haddadi, Bahrami, Yakhchalidehkordi and Mashayekhi lead the same core group from the Iran team upstaged by Gilas Pilipinas, 87-73, in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha.

With a mere weeklong training, Team Phl is definitely the underdog but is determined to go all out to score a reversal in a bid to tie Team Iran at second place in Group F at 5-2.

Meanwhile, Australia (5-1) is tipped to enhance its WC bid against lowly Qatar (2-4) in Doha while Kazakhstan (3-3) mixes it up with Japan (2-4) in the other Group F match over in Almaty. The top three in the group automatically book berths in the 2019 World Cup.

Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar and Malicsi are Gilas remnants while Slaughter, Lassiter, Cabagnot, Sangalang and Thompson are key additions.

Wright and Aguilar will both serve one-game suspension. They will be available for Team Phl in its next game against Qatar at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Monday.

China, the Philippines and Iran finished first, second and third in that tourney.

Two years later in Lebanon, Iran improved to second while the Philippines slid to seventh.

In the recent Jakarta Asiad, Iran again placed second while the Philippines consoled itself with a top finish in the consolation round.

2019 FIBA WORLD CUP BASKETBALL CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER
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