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)