The Philippines national basketball team, dubbed Gilas Pilipinas, will take on reigning FIBA Asia champions Iran national basketball team in the most important game of the 2015 William Jones Cup for either team to this point.
Jones Cup 2015: Philippines vs. Iran Game Info
- Date: Thursday, September 3
- Start Time: 1:00 p.m. (Manila Time)
- Venue: Xinzhuang Gymnasium, New Taipei City, Taiwan
- TV: TV5 and AksyonTV
- Replay: 7 pm on AksyonTV
- Live Stream: Sports5.ph
Philippines will enter the game on a high note after defeating Japan, 75-60, and improved to 3-1, while Iran with 4-1 record, suffered their first loss to USA, 81-66, with star center Hamed Haddadi resting on the sidelines in day 5 of the competition.
Gilas also rested their big men Sonny Thoss and Asi Taulava against Japan in preparation for the battle against the bigger Iranians.
The two teams last played against each other at the 2014 Asian Games elimination round, where Philippines suffered a five-point loss to Iran, 68-63.
Gilas Pilipinas won the top prize in 2012 for their fourth title. They beat Iran 77–75 in the elimination game. Haddadi wasn’t in the roster then.
In 2013 edition of the Jones Cup, Taiwanese officials withdrew its invitation for Gilas due to the prevailing tension between the Philippines and Taiwan. Iran's national basketball team went on to win their fourth title by winning all of their seven games.
Also in 2013, Iran beat Philippines, 85-71, in the gold medal match of FIBA Asia Championship.
The Gilas Pilipinas must defeat Iran, the team-to-beat of the tournament, and their three remaining opponents in order to win the fifth William Jones Cup title.
This year's Jones Cup, the 37th edition, was being also used by Asian basketball teams to prepare for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.