RP Ambushed by Iran, 75-69

* I’m so disappointed with this game. By the 2nd quarter, I was so disgusted at how our NT was playing, I wanted to give up watching the game. We were simply miserable out there, we just couldn’t seem to make our shots.

* I thought, “why the heck aren’t we making our shots? What’s the reason behind it?” One reason could be, of course, opening day jitters. Iran also was having opening day jitters, as evidenced by the tons of free throws they missed in the first half, but they obviously handling it a lot better than we were, judging by the way they were beating us out there on the court.

* Another could be just better individual defense by the Iranians. They were taller, & out of that height advantage they get the confidence that they could take us individually, or at least challenge our shots. By challenging each & every shot of ours, we were forced to hurry our shots, & under that pressure we were missing them.

* The Iranians played 2-3 Zone Defense against us, while we played mostly man-to-man defense against them, except in the 4th quarter, where we also played a 2-3 Zone after a half court press.

‘Iranian Players’

* In contrast to his counterpart, DS, S. Bahrami had a terrific game against us, carrying the scoring as was expected. S. Bahrami showed, that he is WAY better than DS, that DS doesn’t deserve to be mentioned as at par w/ him.

* We actually had Iran’s top players, Ehaddadi & S. Bahrami in foul trouble in the 1st half, but we just couldn’t capitalize on it.

‘RP NT Players’

* Caguioa & Seigle simply failed us in this game. They were expected to carry the offensive chores for the team, but they just failed to do so, BIG time. Seigle, especially. We were expecting him to at least be a good match to S. Bahrami, but he just made a mess out himself on the court.

* About the only good things I saw w/ our team, was that first, we were getting the rebounds. Our frontline players were out there fighting for the boards, especially Asi, who dominated the boards.

* The problem is, after Taulava’s excellent play, he ended up w/ an injury, making our chances of making past the Elimination round even look worst. Without Taulava out of the game, Iran had a field day underneath the boards.

* Thank god for Kerby Raymundo. Many were called, but it was only he who answered. Kerby dug deep, deep down, & against Ehaddadi & Iran’s other 6’8″-6″10″ big men, this undersized 6’6″ Center stepped up & provided leadership on the floor when things looked very bleak in the 4th quarter. Playing smart, steady ball, getting Ehaddadi’s last foul, anchoring the plays, rebounding & scoring. He was the main reason the RP NT made the game close. If it were not for him, this game would’ve been a blowout.

‘Parting Shots’

* W/ this loss, it will take a miracle for the RP NT to make it to the next round. I don’t think I’m going to bother watching the game against China, simply because I don’t want to be up for another disappointment. I followed this team’s preparations patiently, & now it’s just hard to watch it disintegrate like this come money time.

* People will probably make a big fuss about that technical foul called by a referee against Chot Reyes in the last minute. But I don’t buy that. Those same referees got Iran’s top player, S. Bahrami in foul trouble early in the game, & fouled out Iran’s top Center Ehaddadi in the 4th quarter, allowing us to comeback in the game.

* With all the teams now bringing their “A” game here in Tokushima, ‘nagkasukatan na talaga (translation: now we know who’s really better). The way this team is playing, I’m afraid I’m just not that optimistic that we will make it.

* For Uncommon Valor when faced against impossible odds, I think that Kerby deserves a monicker. Monickers shouldn’t just be handed out, they should be EARNED. And I think just because of his game against Iran, Kerby DESERVES a monicker. From now on, I shall refer to him as, “The Kerbinator”.

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