Rajko Toroman and the rest of the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team will have at least one thing less to worry about when they face Iran, the two-time defending champion of the Jones Cup tournament.
Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, the lethal swingman for the Iranian national team, will miss the tournament, according to SMART-Gilas assistant coach Charles Tiu, who was at the tournament venue early Saturday to scout the opposition.
The injury is the latest in a series of health problems for the talented Bahrami, one of the best scores in Asia. He missed most of 2010, including Iran’s stint in the World Basketball Championships because of an ankle injury, the first serious issue he’s had in his career.
Despite missing Bahrami, Iran, the reigning two-time FIBA-Asia champion, will still be the team to beat in the Jones Cup with the presence of 7-foot-2 Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi.