MANILA, Philippines – The mighty hearted Gilas Pilipinas recovered from a shaky start to systematically destroy Saudi Arabia, 84 to 46, to recapture the initiative in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
It was a massive 38-point victory over Saudi Arabia, Gilas Pilipinas gives Jordan Clarkson his first FIBA victory
On Monday, August 29, at the Mall of Asia Arena, Jordan Clarkson wowed in his first home game with Gilas Pilipinas and led the way in an 84-46 demolition of Saudi Arabia in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
At the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers match between Gilas Pilipinas and Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay City. Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto give each other a hearty high five.
Jordan Clarkson’s hot hand helped Gilas put on an electrifying display for 19,829 spectators at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City that included thunderous dunks, long triples, and forceful blocks.
The highly seasoned NBA player from the Philippines finished with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Clarkson scored 23 points, had six assists, and pulled down five rebounds as the Philippines concluded the fourth window with a 3-3 record.
The thrashing made up for Gilas Pilipinas’ close 81-85 loss to Lebanon just three days prior, and Clarkson and Kai Sotto put on a display for the game’s almost 20,000 spectators.
With regard to totals, Sotto had 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
With Jordan Clarkson leading the team, Gilas Pilipinas is aiming for its first FIBA victory, and what better place to accomplish that goal than at home?
Clarkson played his first home game as the Philippines welcomed Saudi Arabia to round out the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The Nationals climbed to 3-3 in the event used to train a team for the World Cup here in 2019 with contributions from local heroes Kai Sotto (16 points, 13 rebounds), Dwight Ramos (9 points), and many more.
After the rout, Clarkson stated at center court “We are big. Us as a team, just getting together the last couple of weeks and me coming in just five times getting ready quickly and just getting ready for the World Cup next year.”
The athlete was moved by the energy of the fans that saw the match and gave their support. A notable lot in the bleachers were the President of the Philippines himself Marcos Jr., and former President Duterte. “It feels great. I know Filipinos got my back and I got theirs as well. I appreciate everybody. We’re just getting started. [So please], support us, support the coaching staff, and support everybody,” he remarks.
Khalid Abdel Gabar, Mathna Almarwani, and Musab Tariq Kadi topped Saudi Arabia with nine points each. Mohammed Almarwani added eight more goals, dropping the guests to 1-5.
After putting on a show in his FIBA debut, the Filipino-American guard lived up to his reputation as a legitimate NBA talent, scoring 27 points, dishing out 7 assists, and pulling down 6 rebounds, although in a heartbreaking 85-81 road loss to Lebanon.
However, Clarkson and the Philippines, who now have a record of 2-3, will have the opportunity to close the window on a positive note as they take on a Saudi team that has dropped four out of its five games in the qualifying round.
The likes of Dwight Ramos and Kai Sotto, who backed up Clarkson against the Lebanese, will be counted upon in addition to the Utah Jazz standout.
Against the Cedars, Ramos recorded a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds in addition to 6 steals, and Sotto recorded 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in his first national team action in almost a year.
The longest-serving player on this Gilas Pilipinas team, Japeth Aguilar, is also anticipated to contribute, along with Scottie Thompson, the current PBA MVP, and the Ravena brothers Kiefer and Thirdy.
Big props to Mathna Almarwani and Khalid Abdel Gabar as they have been amazing on the Saudi team.
Scores at the end of the match
PHILIPPINES with 84 points
Individual scores — Clarkson 23, Sotto 16, Ramos 9, Aguilar 8, K. Ravena 8, Parks 6, Oftana 6, T. Ravena 4, Thompson 2, Malonzo 2, Newsome 0, Adams 0
SAUDI ARABIA with 46 points
Individual scores — Abdel Gabar 9, Kadi 9, Ma. Almarwani 9, Mo. Almarwani 8, Almuwallad 4, Belal 3, Mohammed 2, Abo Jalas 2, Alsager 0, Albargawi 0
Scores per quarter
14 – 11, 37 – 28, 61 – 36, 84 – 46