Gilas Pilipinas got the challenge it needed, weathering a late rally by Iran, 81-70, in a tuneup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Philippines led majority of the game and even took a 23-point lead in the third quarter before using a 9-0 spurt spearheaded by naturalized center Andray Blatche to close out the Iranians, who were without their star big man Hamed Haddadi.
Iran came within two, 72-70, before the finishing kick from the Filipinos.
Blatche finished with game-highs 20 points and 11 rebounds for Gilas, which leaves for Greece on Friday for a three-week training camp in Europe as part of its Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament buildup.
Ryan Reyes, Terrence Romeo and Japeth Aguilar scored 12 points each.
Gilas vets happy to lend a hand as final roster announcement looms