Philippine Gilas: The Philippines bounced back from a tough loss to Lebanon four days prior with an emphatic 84-46 victory over Saudi Arabia in front of an adoring home crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday.

Gilas Pilipinas concluded the fourth Asian qualifying window for the 2023 FIBA World Cup with a 1-1 record.

Philippine Gilas’ Group E record improved to 3-3 thanks to Jordan Clarkson‘s 23 points and Kai Sotto’s 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Gilas’s slow start allowed Saudi Arabia to take a 14-8 lead late in the first quarter.

But Clarkson beat the buzzer with a three-pointer. Electrifying the crowd and also paving the way for Gilas to stamp their class by limiting the visitors. To 32 points in the final three quarters.

“The one thing that we wanted was to just get better, to play better than the previous game against Lebanon,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said. “And that meant having better effort, specifically cutting down on our turnovers from the 21 in Lebanon to something less today.”

“I think we did a good job,” Clarkson added. “I think we made some adjustments during the game. We know they were trying to slow us down, trying to change the pace and slow it so we couldn’t get out and run and get opportunities when we were in the open floor. Coach made a good adjustment, picking them up, changing the pace of the game.”

Coach Mohamed Mounir Youssef of Saudi Arabia lamented his team’s inability to play consistently.

“I think we played very good basketball for the first 15 or 16 minutes. But in the second half we didn’t perform at a good basketball level. It was a very tough night offensively.”

Philippine Gilas In Addition:

Gilad will face Jordan and Saudi Arabia on November 10 and November 13, respectively.

Reyes stated that a plan is already in place for player availability, elaborating: “We’ve already discussed it with the PBA. They intend to make players accessible. Similar to the UAAP and NCAA.

“At the most recent SBP general meeting, they stated that the UAAP and the NCAA are willing to. If necessary, call a two-week break in their schedule to allow players that we may select to participate in the November window.

“The same thing with the PBA. We’re looking forward to that. Nothing is set in stone yet, but the discussion has already started.”

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