Gilas Pilipinas Photo by Ryan Leagogo / INQUIRER.net

INCHEON, South Korea—Gilas Pilipinas plunged into its first practice here Sunday at Song Do High School gym, a day after the celebrated basketball team arrived in this industrialized coastal city for the 17th Asian Games.

“Right now, our first order of business is to practice and to scout our rivals,” said national coach Chot Reyes, who will be able to field a full 12-man lineup after Marcus Douthit and Jimmy Alapag were cleared to replace Andray Blatche and Jayson Castro Williams.

The team is coming off an epic showing in the Fiba World Cup in Spain, where its 1-4 record belied the tough stand it put up against world powers.

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 Gilas Pilipinas forward Ranidel de Ocampo finds it hard to operate inside against Iran giants Hamed Hadadi (left) and Hamed Sohrabnejad (right) in their gold medal game in last year's FIBA Asia Championship. The Iranians won, 81-75. FIBA Asia file photo

MANILA, Philippines – After snapping 21 long years of losing slump versus China in 2007 then ending its mind-boggling jinx against Korea last year, Gilas Pilipinas’ immediate goal is to stop a much longer losing record against Iran in their keenly awaited matchup Thursday in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.

The Philippines has enjoyed a resurgence in international basketball but, for all its gutsy stands and courageous efforts, has yet to pull one against Iran in any FIBA tourney in the last 41 years or since the Filipinos ripped the Iranians in their ABC title romp in 1973 in Manila.

The biggest win Gilas Pilipinas has had against Iran was a 77-75 squeaker in the 2012 Jones Cup in Taipei.

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Basketball

Some of the beds at the athletes' village were too small for the taller players of the squad.

But Japeth Aguilar, one of three players listed above 6-foot-9 in the lineup along with June Mar Fajardo and Marcus Douthit, said the team quickly found a solution for the problem.

"Pero na-solve na namin yun. Ibinaba na lang naming ang kama sa sahig, kasya na kami," Aguilar told state-run Philippines News Agency.

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Basketball

Maldives - Mongolia 54-112

Mongolia exploded with 112 points en route to a comfortable victory over Maldives. Battur Ganbold (185-F-87), Bilguun Battuvshin (197-SF-89) and Odbayar Batdorj (193-PF-85) nailed 16 points each for Mongolia as they improved at 2-0 record in Group A. Ibrahim Rashwaan (182-PG-94) and Mohamed Zilaal (179-PG-85) replied with 12 points each in the defeat.

Hong Kong - Kuwait 65-81

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La Salle forward Jeron Teng. ABS-CBN NEWS

MANILA, Philippines -- La Salle forward Jeron Teng offered no excuses for his miserable game after the Green Archers lost to Far Eastern University (FEU), 60-65, Sunday in their playoff game in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament.

Teng, coming off a case of mild dengue as well as an appearance in a fashion show on Saturday night, scored only eight points and made only two of 11 field goals in the loss.

He did grab eight rebounds, but also turned the ball over five times and fouled out late in the final period after committing an unsportsmanlike foul against FEU guard Mike Tolomia.

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Mike Tolomia scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds while coming up with crucial plays in crunch time to lead the Tamaraws to their third straight win over the defending champions this season.

"Today, it just showed the character of the team. Sabi namin, if you want to succeed in life, you have to persevere," said FEU coach Nash Racela. "Beating La Salle is difficult, but our players really persevered especially when we struggled in the second half."

Mac Belo added 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds for the Tamaraws, who are now one win away from returning to the UAAP Finals for the first time since Season 74.

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Basketball

With this win, the Heat improved to a 6-7 record, while the Warriors dropped down a 6-9 record.

Playing without their two local stars Arki Wisnu and Vinton Surawi, the Warriors struggled offensively. Meanwhile, the home took full advantage of the depleted Warriors team. David Arnold sank a baseline jumper and Williams beat the first quarter buzzer with a putback to give Saigon a 16-9 lead after ten minutes.

The Warriors’ offense continued to struggle in the second quarter as they barely make it to the 20-point mark. The Warriors only connected on 7 shots from 33 attempts. On the other hand, the Heat built a 16-point lead, 36-20, at the halftime break after outscoring the Warriors 20-11 in the period.

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