Team Iran will be powered by former NBA Player Hamed Haddadi and in order to limit his court efficiency, coach Yeng Guiao will turn to Asi Taulava, Beau Belga and Christian Standhardinger when the two teams make its most awaited clash in Tehran, Iran.
Team Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao already informed the three players and probably some tips tp stop the 7-foot-2 big-man who played with Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns.
“We don’t have June Mar Fajardo, we don’t have Andray Blatche, and we don’t have Greg Slaughter so the responsibility [to defend Haddadi] now falls on the shoulders of Asi, Christian Standhardinger and Beau Belga,” Guiao said.
Greg Slaughter was thrilled after he got cleared by FIBA to play as a local in Philippines Men’s Basketball squad but that excitement went short as the man known as the “GregZilla” still unable move comfortably due to an injury.
PBA Four-time Most Valuable Player also can’t join the team also because of an shin injury and this is even before the start of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Philippines naturalized player Andray Blatche won’t be seeing in action as the shifty 6’10” forward/center is under suspension slapped by FIBA due to his involvement in the brawl against the Australia last July.
Hamed Haddadi led Iran squad won the 2018 Asian Games silver medal. They finished second behind team China while Philippines finished at fifth place.
Gilas coaching staff will try to exploit speed weekness of team Iran as they capitalize more on their height advantage.
“I think we have our hands full because the biggest problem will be the size between our team and their team, but we feel we have the advantage in terms of quickness. So if we can run a fast-paced game, then we’ll be okay,” Guiao said.
Scottie Thompson along with Alex Cabagnot and Ian Sangalang will make its first debut with Gilas. Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, JP Erram and Raymond Almazan will return after their Asian Games stint with the national squad.
SMB’s Marcio Lassiter and Blackwater Elite’s Allein Maliksi will boost the squad’s outside offense and try to force the Iran’s defense to spread.