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Iran’s Jamshidi to play for the Meralco Bolts
by rick olivares pic by arvin lim
The Meralco Bolts are signing Iran national team swingman Mohammad Jamshidi to be one of their two imports for the upcoming PBA Governors’ Cup.
During his official measurement at the PBA offices on 5pm, Thursday, June 9, 2016, the Iranian national was measured at 6’ 2 3/4” prompting elation from Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo. “We got the import that we wanted,” he gushed. Aside from Jamshidi, the Bolts’ will also parade 6’5” American Allen Durham in the two-import; one-Asian player-laden conference.
The 24-year old Jamshidi finished with only eight points for Iran in an 81-70 loss during last Wednesday’s friendly match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. Jamshidi was heavily guarded by Gilas Pilipinas which is quite aware of his prodigious scoring exploits.
Jamshidi who suits up for Azad University in the Iran Super League is listed at 6’5”. However, Bolts team manager Paolo Trillo who personally measured the Iranian last Suunday, he was plesantly surprised to learn that he stands exactly at 6’3” the prescribed height for imports for the upcoming and season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup. “I was looking at three Iranian players thinking I would not be able to get Mohammad but when I measured him and he stood at 6’3” I got excited because he is a very good basketball player and will help our team.”
“I am excited for the opportunity to play here in the Philippines and the PBA. The fans here are incredible and so is their passion for the game,” said Jamshidi during a cellphone interview late Thursday afternoon right before his measurement. “They also appreciate good basketball and I hope that with my style, I can help Meralco."
Although Jamshidi has been with the Iran national team since 2012, it was only during the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China where he finally got meaningful playing time and emerged as the team’s second best scorer behind center Hamed Haddadi. The Shahrekord, Iran native posted averaged of 13.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists en route to his team’s gold medal finish.
During Iran’s 76-55 win against the Philippines, Jamshidi led Iran with 19 points.
However, when in the 2015 FIBA Asia tournament in Changsha, China, Jamshidi’s production went down to 5.2 points and 3.0 boards in nine matches as Iran settled for a bronze medal finish.
The Iranian national team is also competing for one of the final three slots available for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Iran is bracketed along with Greece and Mexico in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Turin, Italy.