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Meralco taps Iranian guard

Hoping to improve its chances of making it to the finals, Meralco has signed versatile Iran forward Mohammad Jamshidi as the Asian reinforcement of the Bolts in the season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup set to open July 15.

Meralco coach Norman Black confirmed this after top team officials were able to secure the services of the 6-foot-3 Iranian who is considered as the next important player for the Asian powerhouse.

The negotiation took place while the Iran national team was in town to play the Gilas Pilipinas in a scrimmage last Tuesday and an exhibition match last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“He’ll be our Asian import for the third conference,” said Black.

The Bolts were a win away from making their first finals stint in the last Commissioner’s Cup, losing to the Alaska Aces in the do-or-die Game 5 of their semifinal series.

The 24-year-old Jamshidi has been one of the rising stars for Iran since he first joined their national team during the 2012 Asian Cup in Japan. Filipino basketball observers have likened his style of play to Iran’s veteran forward Samad Nikkhah Bahrami.

When the national team defeated Iran (81-70) in its exhibition game, Jamshidi scored eight points mostly in the fourth quarter when the Iranians rallied back from a 23-point deficit to 70-72 late in the game.