Jul 28, 2021

Gilas routs Saudi Arabia for bounce back win

GILAS Pilipinas regained its shooting touch and its winning ways, hacking out a runaway 77-62 victory over Saudi Arabia in a mighty bounce back in the King Abdullah Cup on Tuesday night.

The Filipinos shot better from the field in their second outing at the Prince Hamzah Sports Hall in Amman, Jordan, hitting 7-of-13 from three-point range in the opening half to key their early breakaway.

Big man Justine Baltazar stood at the forefront of Gilas' attack, scoring 11 of his 16 points during that stretch including three from beyond the arc.

PBA special Gilas draftee Isaac Go had another solid outing for the team with 10 points and keyed a late first half run that gave the Filipinos their first sizeable lead at 43-26.

It was breeze for Gilas from there as it now evened its record at 1-1 after dropping its opening day game against Egypt, 73-60, when it struggled with its shooting from the field.

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Baltazar added three rebounds and four assists, while hitting four triples in the game that saw Gilas led by as many as 20 early in the final quarter.

Naturalized player Ange Kouame finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots, while the quartet of Dave Ildefonso, Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, and Jordan Heading, another special draftee of the national team, combined for 27 points in the bounce lopsided win.

Gilas will next play Jordan-B team of the host country.

Mohammed Alsuwailem led Saudi Arabia with 18 points on a near-perfect 8-of-9 shooting, even as Khalid M Abdel Gabar and Nassir Abo Jalas finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Saudi Arabia fell to a 0-2 record. (RG)

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