MOHAMMAD Jamshidi did not lose faith in Iran even with its big guns not playing in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
The 27-year-old wingman took over in the absence of Hamed Haddadi, Nikkha Bahrami, Arsalan Kazemi, and Saijad Mashayekhi as he exploded for 26 big points to help Iran stun Team Pilipinas, 78-70, before a disappointed home crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jamshidi poured in 16 points in the final quarter including the breakaway lay-up that made it a 73-70 Iran lead with 26 left in the intense, back-and-forth game. The former Meralco Bolts Asian import went 10-of-16 from the field, added four rebounds, and dished off seven assists.
“We just came here and showed to everyone that Iranian basketball has big potential even without many players. That’s what we showed in the court,” said the Iranian wingman.
Jamshidi admitted the big pressure Iran had to carry on its shoulders having to travel without four of its key players and coming off a 76-47 rout at the hands of Australia over the weekend.
“It was a big game for both teams. But to be honest with you guys, it put a big pressure on us after a tough loss against Australia,” he said.
Coach Mahran Shahintab said if Team Pilipinas played with ‘puso,’ so did Iran, who closed the game with a 9-0 run to frustrate the hosts.
“They played with their heart. They’re just very motivated ( to win),” he said of his team. “After that loss to Australia, they made the decision to play hard and to play with their heart. And they did.”