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    Remember this awkward moment in the 2013 Fiba Asia awarding ceremony?

    Aug 11, 2020

    FILIPINOS still hold dear the events in the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship when Gilas Pilipinas broke through after decades of failure.

    Although the Philippine national team settled for the silver medal after losing to Iran, 85-71, in final, the host found more reasons to celebrate after beating longtime tormentor Korea and booking a ticket to the 2014 Fiba World Cup.

    Iran ruled the tournament for the third time in four editions, capping the golden age of Team Melli built around the trio of Hamed Haddadi, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, and Mehdi Kamrani.

    But the Iranians, we're sure, also remembered the Manila tournament for this blooper [fast forward to the video's final two minutes].

    Skip to 1:48:05

    Yes, the coveted trophy, which Team Melli worked hard for in the 11-day showpiece, got broken a mere seconds after Bahrami got his hands on it.

    Fiba Asia president Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al-Thani and then-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan were visibly stunned when the steel ball fell out of the three spires in the middle of the awarding ceremony.

    "We were a bit embarassed, to tell you the truth," SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, who was closely working with the local organizing committee (LOC), admitted to Spin.ph seven years since the event.


    Lucky for the hosts, the Iranians were in good spirits and seemed like they even got a kick out of the awkward incident.

    Kamrani casually picked the ball from the floor and put it back in place, with Bahrami this time holding the trophy tightly as Iran celebrated its triumph.

    "It was the least of their worries," recollected Barrios. "They did not make a big issue out of it. Kudos to Iran. Mabuti na lang para sa atin."


      So was the trophy fixed?

      Barrios said that there was no time for the hosts to have the championship trophy repaired since Iran left the country the next day.

      "Iran did not have it repaired anymore as they had to leave for home. Also, the ball that got detached was easy to put back on," he said.

      "Presumably, they put it back themselves when they got back in Iran."

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