HWASEONG, South Korea —While everybody's attention was on Hamed Haddadi, it was Iran guard Mahdi Kamrani who dealt Gilas Pilipinas the biggest blows on Thursday afternoon.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes was visibly disappointed with the way the crafty Kamrani was able to dominate the Philippines' guards in Iran’s 68-63 victory over the Philippines in the Asian Games.
“Our guards are gonna get hell from me tonight,” Reyes said. “Kamrani, by himself, beat our guards.”
Kamrani had 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals in an all-around effort for Iran. His three-pointer gave Iran a 61-60 lead in what Reyes said was the most decisive moment of the match.
“That was the game right there. We couldn’t get back,” said Reyes of Kamrani’s dagger three.
Kamrani’s play was one of the points Reyes raised during the postgame press conference, although he couldn't resist taking a dig at the Iranian guard's tendency to flop in the physical game.
“It’s a mystery to me that we kept on getting called for a flop when Kamrani is a master flopper,” said Reyes.
Still, Reyes rued how Gilas allowed Kamrani to get into the groove and totally outhustle his guards.
“A lot of the rebounds were taken by Kamrani the point guard. They were all watching. We kept talking how Kamrani is aggressive to the basket. He tracks down the loose balls. That was unacceptable,” said Reyes.
Reyes said Gilas Pilipinas guards can’t afford to be outplayed in a game against a quality team like Iran.
“We should not lose the 50-50 balls. We should get every ball because we are small. But Kamrani beat us to it,” said Reyes.