Robert Block led Gilas Pilipinas in scoring with 15 points against Iran.
Gilas bows to Iran, ends FIBA World Cup campaign empty-handed
Olmin Leyba ( - September 8, 2019 - 10:06pm

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas' journey in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup ended the same way it started — in disappointing fashion.

Asian rival Iran denied Gilas a "graceful exit" in the prestigious hoopfest, sealing a complete shutout for the underwhelming Filipinos via a 95-75 beating Sunday night at Beijing's Wukesong Sport Arena.

Hamed Hadadi dominated with 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks, making the most damage in a 14-3 salvo that triggered Iran's second-quarter pullaway, as the Iranians sent Gilas reeling to a woeful 0-5 record overall, rubbing salt on the wound of a nation that eats, sleeps and breathes basketball.

Robert Block fired a team-high 15 while Andray Blatche posted 12-5-5 before getting tossed out in the fourth on account of his second technical foul of the night, embodying the nightmarish stint of Gilas in the tournament that served as a harsh reality check and wakeup call.

Gilas had its best shooting in the first, knocking down six triples to put itself within striking distance of Iran, 24-30, but its offense went sour from there even as Haddadi asserted himself and towed Iran to a 48-34 tear at the turn.

The Iranians maintained their foot on the accelator the rest of the way to put the game beyond error-prone Philippines’ reach.

The blowout to Iran put an end to an excruciating 10 days of agony for a Philippine side tipped to do well especially after acquitting themselves well in the 2014 edition but stumbled big time in their second foray.

They got massacred by European juggernaut Italy and Serbia before blowing a winnable game against the Angolans and, their woes extending, paid for a flat start in a 19-point loss to Tunisia at the classification phase's kickoff.

With a big fat egg against the world's best, it's now back to the proverbial drawing board as Gilas heads home and licks it wound from his "debacle."

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