By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
NO. 1 FAN. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. joins nearly 20,000 fans who watched the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers’ fourth window game between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia at the MOA Arena in Pasay City on Monday night (Aug. 29, 2022). The Gilas Pilipinas bounced back from a sluggish start to beat Saudi, 84-46. (Screengrab from OnePH sports)
MANILA – Gilas Pilipinas scored an emphatic 84-46 win at home against Saudi Arabia in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers on Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Despite a sluggish start, Gilas showed its might against the Arabians as their offense clicked from the second quarter onwards to make a crowd of 19,829 people, including no less than President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., rejoice.
The Arabians somehow silenced the sold-out crowd early on after forcing Gilas to a sluggish first quarter.
Despite a hot three-point shooting from Jordan Clarkson, which included a long tom from almost the halfcourt to beat the buzzer, Gilas found themselves trailing, 11-14, against Saudi Arabia.
However, Gilas found their offensive rhythm in the second quarter, outscoring the Arabians, 26-14, to take a 37-28 halftime lead.
Gilas then held Saudi to just eight third-quarter points to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Clarkson led Gilas, now 3-3 in Group E play, with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting including 5-for-7 from three-point range, five rebounds, and six assists.
Kai Sotto added 16 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks.
Khalid Abdel-Gabar, Mathna Almarwani, and Musab Kadi each had nine points for Saudi Arabia, which fell to 1-5. (PNA)