Jordan Clarkson, Kai Sotto lead Gilas bounce back with 38-point romp of Saudi Arabia
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines overcame a shaky start and then picked Saudi Arabia apart with methodical precision, 84-46, to get back on track in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Gilas rode the hot hand of Jordan Clarkson, treating 19,829 souls at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City to a scintillating performance that included thunderous dunks, long-distance triples and emphatic blocks.
The Filipino-American NBA star finished with 23 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
Local heroes abounded as well with Kai Sotto chipping 16 points and 13 rebounds, while cornerstone Dwight Ramos nine points as the Nationals improved to 3-3 in the tournament being used to pilot a squad for the World Cup here next year.
“[This is] big,” Clarkson said at centercourt after the blowout. “Us as a team, just getting together the last couple of weeks and me coming in just five times getting ready quick and just getting ready for the World Cup next year.”
“It feels great,” he said of the fans in attendance, which included Presidents Duterte and Marcos Jr. “I know Filipinos got my back and I got theirs as well. I appreciate everybody. We’re just getting started. (So), support us, support the coaching staff, and support everybody.”
Musab Tariq Kadi, Khalid Abdel Gabar, and Mathna Almarwani led the way for Saudi Arabia with nine points each. Mohammed Almarwani tossed in eight more as the visitors dropped to 1-5.
PHILIPPINES 84 — 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 46 — Abdel Gabar 9, Kadi 9, Ma. Almarwani 9, Mo. Almarwani 8, Almuwallad 4, Belal 3, Mohammed 2, Abo Jalas 2, Alsager 0, Albargawi 0.
Quarters: 14-11, 37-28, 61-36, 84-46.