In a virtual repeat of their previous match, Gilas Pilipinas waged a tough fight throughout but sagged at the finish and bowed down to Iran, 70-78, in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers Monday night at the MOA Arena.
It was a crucial loss that dropped Team Phl down to fourth place going into the final window of the FIBAWC eliminator.
Worse, the Nationals are playing their last two games on foreign soil versus Qatar and Kazakhstan.
Australia and Iran stayed first and second in Group F and Japan moved past the Philippines following an 86-70 victory over Kazakhstan at home earlier in the day.
“We still lacked maturity. We’re not cohesive as we want to be at this point. But the guys really tried their best,” said national team coach Yeng Guiao.