From Asian rivals to PBA teammates.
That would be the interesting scenario in the coming days for the Meralco Bolts as Iranian versatile wingman Mohammed Jamshidi will join forces with former Gilas cornerstone Jimmy Alapag.
Passing the height limit for Asian reinforcement of 6-foot-3, the 24-year old Iranian mainstay will have the chance to showcase more of his basketball skills not to break Filipinos’ hearts this time, but to help the Bolts breakthrough this Governors’ Cup.
And Alapag is thrilled on having a young talented import like Jamshidi.
“Obviously now, he’s one of Iran’s main guys so we’re excited to have him, he will definitely make us deeper and a lot more versatile because he can play different positions,” said Alapag to FOX Sports after their Tuesday afternoon practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
“We’re looking forward to have him here once they are done with the Olympic qualifier,” he added, as Meralco expects Jamshidi to arrive in Manila after July 15.
The veteran Alapag played against the up-and-coming Jamshidi in as many important occasions where Philippines met Iran just like in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and 2014 Asian Games, with all results favoring the Western Asian giants.
Alapag, though, wants to give Jamshidi time to focus on a bigger task at hand and wishes the best result for both Asian powerhouses in their respective Olympic ticket bid.
“I just wish them luck in their qualifier in Italy and hopefully things can work out for them just like I’m hoping the same for Gilas,” he said.
The Philippines will be gunning for the lone berth in the Olympics here in Manila while Iran will have their hands full in Turin, Italy for their own OQT campaign. – By Jason Mercene
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