Gilas Pilipinas saved its best for the last quarter and defeated Iran, 63-48, to conclude its campaign in the Heyuan WUS International Basketball Tournament in Guandong, China, on a high note.
After blowing an early double-digit lead and trailing Iran in the middle quarters, Kiefer Ravena joined with Ray Parks, Jamie Malonzo, and Dwight Ramos in a ferocious finishing kick that allowed Gilas to ultimately break away for good.
A decisive 12-0 run punctuated by a Ravena three-pointer allowed the Filipinos to replicate their victory over Iran and finish their campaign in the China mini pocket tournament with a 3-1 win-loss record, tied with African nation Senegal.
Dwight Ramos led Gilas in scoring with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Jamie Malonzo scored 11 points and 14 rebounds after being kept scoreless in the previous day’s 75-63 triumph over Senegal.
Ravena had nine points, six rebounds, and six assists, while AJ Edu had eight points and 12 rebounds.
Gilas led by as many as 24-9 in the first quarter, but Iran came back in the second quarter to make it a 31-30 advantage at the half. The Iranians led by as much as 5, 35-40, in the third quarter until Gilas tied it at 46 early in the fourth.
With 4:40 remaining, Gilas led 49-47 before the Filipinos scored 12 consecutive baskets to take a 61-47 advantage.
Gilas returns to the country on Tuesday and will be joined by naturalized player Jordan Clarkson the next day. Clarkson, 31, will arrive in the country early Tuesday morning.