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Haddadi is a marked man




HAMED Haddadi

HAMED Haddadi

JUST like in the national team’s campaign in Asian Games in Indo­nesia, scouting report will play a big factor for Team Pilipinas when it battles the Hamed Haddadi-led Iran tomorrow in the fourth win­dow of the 2018 FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Tehran.

Philippines coach Yeng Guiao will rely on the scouting report prepared by the coaching staff, led by coach Ryan Gregorio, which put together a comprehen­sive profile with videos of every Iran player – their strengths and weaknesses, tendencies as well as team plays.

According to Guiao, the scout­ing report will help the team pre­pare against the Iranians, a team that the national team battled in numerous international events with Haddadi on the roster.

“Just like in the Asian Games, I told the players that the scouting report is important… it gives us an idea what Iran is, and by the time we play them, it’s as if we played them already,” said Guiao.

“That’s because we’re familiar with them already, with what they want to do basically based on the scouting. Of course, playing them in actual game is different but the scouting helps a lot,” added Guiao.

Guiao’s coaching staff, which in­cludes Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia and his assistant Ricky Um­ayam, as well as NLEX assistant coach Ford Arao, played a key role in the Asian Games campaign.

Team Pilipinas came close to top­pling China which escaped with an 82-80 win after Paul Lee’s three-point attempt hit the back of the rim.

Against South Korea, the Na­tionals dictated the tempo in the first two quarters and were still in control in the third until the Kore­ans exploded for a 91-82 victory.

The national team went on to beat Japan (113-80) and Syria (109-55) in the consolation round to finish fifth overall, better than the seventh place of the country in 2014 Incheon Asian Games in South Korea.

The 7-foot-2 Haddadi remains the target of Team Pilipinas de­fense.

In the Asian Games, he aver­aged 21 points and 10.5 rebounds in four games, including a 27-point, 10-rebound effort in an 84-72 loss to China in the gold medal game.

However, Iran is not only about Haddadi.