PETROCHIMI caught fire in the second period before weathering Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas' late surge to come away with an 87-66 win in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup at the Chenzhou Sports Center in China on Tuesday night.
American import Willie Warren gave Chooks' defense trouble for the most part of the last match of the group stages as he fired from all cylinders on the way to game-high 30 points.
The former Los Angeles Clipper scored 12 of his total output in a 27-15 second quarter outburst for Iran that saw them seize control at halftime, 43-29.
Resilient as ever, the Filipinos showed signs of life in the fourth period, pulling to within 10 points on back-to-back triples by Norbert Torres and Jeron Teng, before Warren took the fight of his foes for good by sparking a 10-0 run.
Not even a 20-point outing from Kiefer Ravena and Isaiah Austin could save the Philippine squad from the jaws of defeat.
Petrochimi claimed the second spot, while Chooks dropped to a 2-2 record for third place heading into the next phase of the tournament.
Chooks will take one day off before taking on Gilas naturalized player Andray Blatche’s China Kashgar team in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Blatche arrived early Tuesday, suited up for China right away, but went scoreless in almost 10 minutes of play in a 73-103 loss to Al Riyadi.
He last played for Gilas in the Seaba Championship in May this year.
PETROCHIMI 87 - Warren 30, Mashayekhi 15, Yakhchali 12, Kazemi 9, Davarpanah 8, Niktash 5, Zakeri 4, Mirzaeitalarposhti 2, Sahakian 2, Bahramzad 0.
CHOOKS-TO-GO PILIPINAS 66 - Austin 20, Ravena 20, Torres 9, Jero. Teng 5, Revilla 4, Manuel 3, Jeri. Teng 3, Vosotros 2, Cruz 0, Jose 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarterscores: 16-14, 43-29, 61-45, 87-66.