22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
Game Report
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Gilas deny Saudi Arabia's upset attempt to make it three straight wins

JEDDAH (Saudi Arabia) - The Philippines close their Window 5 run with a win in an entertaining game in front of a lively crowd at King Abdullah Sports City.


Saudi Arabia looked like a different team that was blown out in Manila in Window 4, but it was still not enough to deny Gilas a 76-63 win.

Both teams came out of the games fired up with energy with fans of both teams packed up in the stands. They might have been too hyped up as they both began the game by shooting 6-21 in the first quarter.

Gilas started to pick things up in the second quarter, creating a separation of 6 points at the halftime break. However, it wasn’t until the third quarter that the Philippines took clear control of the advantage of the game.

The second half surge was sparked by Gilas veteran RR Pogoy who scored 11 of his 13 points all in the third quarter.

Saudi Arabia pushed time and again to get back in the game and keep the score close. Despite their valiant efforts, it was not enough to offset a night where they shot under 30 percent from the field (23-78).

The Philippines enjoyed balanced scoring across their lineup with 7 players scoring at least 8 points, led by both Pogoy and Dwight Ramos.

For Saudi Arabia, the pair of Mathna Almarwani (19 points, 8 rebounds) and Khalid Abdel Gabar (16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists).

Turning point: Saudi Arabia really never gave up in this game, bringing down the leading to single-digits multiple times even as the Philippines threatened to break away.

But when Kai Sotto skied for an alleyoop jam halfway through the fourth quarter, it felt as if there was nothing else the home team could do to avoid the inevitable.


Game Hero: Pogoy catching fire in the third quarter sure was fun, but watching Kai Sotto continue to grow game after game has been even better. He’s had games with more points and more rebounds, but none with more blocks and better EFF.

Sotto wraps up a great window for the youngster with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 blocks, and 23 EFF.


Stats don’t lie:

Both teams started out shooting less than 30 percent from the field in the first quarter, but it was only Gilas that were able to recover from the slump. Saudi Arabia ended up at 29.5 percent, making it tough to beat any opponent no matter how impressive the effort was.

They said:

"I think we got a lot of energy from the crowd. They really gave us a huge boost. They just wouldn’t allow us to lose until we hit our stride, until we finally hit some shots in the second half and the third quarter." - Vincent Reyes, Philippines head coach

"I have to give my players huge compliments, if you look to where we came from in the Philippines a game where we lost by 38 points. Coming in with a foreign coach with 7 practices, this is only our fourth game and then we were just competing. We were competing for 40 minutes." - Johan Roijakkers, Saudi Arabia head coach