Gilas destroys Saudi Arabia to wipe out fifth Fiba window

The Gilas Nationals team showcased their progress—and later appreciation—for a giant Filipino gallery during a road game in Saudi Arabia.  —FIBA.COM

The Gilas Nationals team showcased their progress—and later appreciation—for a giant Filipino gallery during a road game in Saudi Arabia. —FIBA.COM

Playing with poise from the start, Gilas Pilipinas held Saudi Arabia 76-63 unbeaten in the fifth window of the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers (International Basketball Federation). and show the improvements the coaching staff talked about as the Nationals continue to make great strides leading up to next year’s main event.

Heroes are once again on the horizon for the Filipinos, who frustrate retooled hosts eager for a second straight win after knocking out three-night visiting Indians before that — and save some face after receiving an ugly game from the Gilas team led by Jordan Clarkson last August .

National team coach Chot Reyes said: “We know the high quality of this (Saudi Arabia) team, so we were prepared to face difficulties, especially after a tough game in Jordan.

“We patiently overcame the initial difficulties.”

RR Pogoy scored 11 of his 13 points in the third inning as the Nationals took control, and Kai Sotto was the dominant force inside with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 5 saves in front of the line. The Saudis are much bigger and better than the Filipinos. black and blue at the Mall of Asia Arena almost three months ago.

The Nationals felt at home when a large Philippine gallery showed up to support Gilas. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest numbers of overseas Filipino workers, and they shouted out their hearts to their hometown heroes at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah late last night. Sunday (Monday morning in Manila).

“We got energy from the crowd, who kept us motivated and didn’t let us lose until we were strutted and hit our shots,” Reyes continued. “Basically, we were able to use our defense to win.”

Dwight Ramos also finished with 13 points and the Philippines looked much more deliberate and determined, a far cry from the disjointed squad that played in the early stages of the qualifiers which the nation is using to see which players line up. can best represent the country in August next year.

Pogoy and Ramos buckled in midfield as Gilas used a 12-0 sprint to create the lead — something the Nationals held on to for the rest of the run.

Spitfire guard CJ Perez contributed 10 points to complete the necessary equalization record in the international.

Scottie Thompson and Ray Parks Jr. also very large.

Saudi Arabia threatened to come back in the final bracket, pulling the scoreline 69-61 with 2:08 remaining, only to be denied by plays from both Thompson and Ramos.

The most recent victory over the Saudis not only lifted the Philippines’ record to 5-3 and marked the first time Gilas was able to qualify.

It shows that the Nationalists, having created enough cohesion, can indeed become a capable collective.

This is something Reyes emphasized, shortly after passing Jordan in Amman last Friday: “I think number 1 is familiarity. This is not the first time we have come together. Yes, there were new faces we wanted to blend in, but overall, these guys had some shared experiences… so I think that showed itself — energy and vibe.”

The Falcons, billed as the tournament’s dark horse, then beat New Zealand, 92-75, leaving the Tall Blacks losing their first game in the rollout, which should help underline the improvements — possibly see and otherwise — the program Gilas has achieved so far in these Qualifiers, the cage heads are using to prepare for the World Cup here next year.

Gilas counts for another qualifying term in February next year.

There, the Nationals will host hot Lebanon and then Jordan, where Justin Brownlee, a naturalization candidate, could be activated.

“Hopefully we can get him in the sixth window. I know that’s a bit tight, but we’re getting support from the Senate and Congress. There [are] we only had to submit a few documents,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Al Panlilio president of Brownlee’s naturalization process. request

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