AFTER going up against Gilas Pilipinas recently in a two-game scrimmage, Mohammad Jamshidi gets another taste of what Filipino basketball is all about a month from now.
The 24-year-old wingman has been signed by Meralco as its Asian import for the coming PBA Governors Cup.
Team manager Paolo Trillo said the Bolts’ initial concern that Jamshidi may be over the 6-foot-3 height limit for Asian reinforcements was finally resolved Thursday when the Iranian national team member was officially measured at 6-2 and ¾ at the PBA office.
“We’re finally excited that we’ll have him on board. He’s a talented player, experience-wise he has lots of it especially internationally,” said Trillo.
The Meralco official personally watched Jamshidi play for Iran against Gilas in their back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the Filipinos’ 81-70 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, where he finished with eight points on 4 of 10 shooting, three rebounds, and seven assists in 30 minutes of play – the most in the team.
Trillo said it was he who thought of tapping the services of the Iranian national for the season-ending tournament.
“It’s his versatility which I think will be his biggest contribution to team,” he said. “He can play different positions and could play well on both ends of the floor. He has good ball handling skills, too.”
Trillo added he got in touch with Jamshidi through the agent of Sam Daghles, who also represents the Iranian wingman. Daghles played as Tropang TNT’s Asian import last year.
Jamshidi already showed up at Meralco’s practice Thursday but didn’t join the Bolts in their scrimmage.
Trillo said Jamshidi will join Iran in the team’s campaign in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Turin, Italy, after which he’ll go straight to Manila and start practicing with Meralco.
“He’ll have his commitment with the Iran national team first in the OQT, and then go straight here after the tournament,” said the Meralco executive.
Meanwhile, American import Allan Durham will be arriving in the country on June 16.