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    Gilas so hard to beat with a 'stretch five' like Andray Blatche, says Iran coach

    Sep 28, 2015

    CHANGSHA, China – Former Olympic coach Dirk Bauermann believes Gilas Pilipinas will be a very dangerous team especially if it continues to flash the same deadly form it did in beating Iran on Monday in the Fiba-Asia Championship here.

    In the wake of the Filipinos’ shocking 87-73 trouncing of the Iranians, the German national stressed their conquerors would be very hard to beat should they keep playing the way they did against them.

    “When they share the ball the way they did today, they’re very difficult to beat,” said the 57-year-old mentor, who guided Dirk Nowitzki and the German national team to the 2008 Olympics in London.

    [See Baldwin on Iran win: 'This game was won by individuals playing as a team']

    In particular, Bauermann stressed the complexion of the Philippine team’s play changes owing to the presence of versatile big man Andray Blatche in the middle.

    “Obviously, Blatche gives them a dimension that pretty much nobody else does,” said Bauermann, who’s in his first year as coach of the Iran team that is seeking to defend its title in the tournament in a bid to make it back to the Summer Games slated in Rio De Janeiro next year.

    “Most teams are happy if they have a ‘stretch 4’, but when you have a ‘stretch 5’ and you can put him on the floor with a great shooter as No. 33 in (Ranidel) de Ocampo and you have super quick guards that have great athletic ability, it makes it very difficult defensively.”

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    [See Vengeful win over Iran so sweet for Jayson Castro]

    Initially, Bauermann admitted he thought the Iranians were ready to book win no. 5 especially when the team posted a double digit lead early in the second half.

    “We thought it’s gonna be smooth sailing for that point on,” said the native of Oberhausen, Germany. “But It’s not. The Philippines is too good of a team,”

    Losing a game now however, would be better than falling and getting beaten in the latter part of the Olympic qualifying tournament.

    “Like I said, it’s a tournament. It’s not about one game,” he said.

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