To counter the loss against Lebanon earlier this week, Gilas Pilipinas took it as motivation to turn their game around against Saudi Arabia. In a 84-46 win at the Mall of Asia Arena, the victory gives way to a 3-3 record in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers. The Philippines recovered from a slow start that saw them score a paltry 11 points in the first quarter, and came away with an 84-46 demolition of the visiting Saudi Arabians. Jordan Clarkson was sensational in his home debut, with 23 points, six assists, and five rebounds.
The team morale increased with this win and players are confident that they are building "something special" within the team. "I think we did a good job. The emphasis that we put on ourselves from the last game, I think we accomplished that," Clarkson said after the game. "We came out here and we executed and everybody played well, everybody played hard, and you know, gave their best effort."
To get out of their slow start at the beginning, Gilas came to play in the third quarter out-scoring the opponent in a 24-8 run. The 20,000 people crowd supported the team and cheered them on during their high-energy dunks and layups. Gilas hopes to keep the momentum going and building on the pieces to continue to the FIBA Asian World Cup.
Cover Photo Credit: Gilas Pilipinas Instagram
NBA player and Utah Jazz guard, Jordan Clarkson arrived in Manila just in time for Gilas Pilipinas' first practice. The national team is gearing up to to face Lebanon and Saudi Arabia in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. He made the long flight overseas and we get to tag along the journey in his latest vlog, titled "Manila Man."
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios shared how much pride Clarkson has to be playing for Pilipinas and embraces the interactions around him. The executive director acknowledged Clarkson's high basketball IQ and his quick turn around on learning the team's plays.
Meshing and blending with the team hasn't been a problem for Clarkson as he's made the effort of interacting with his teammates like Kai Sotto and Kiefer Ravena, but especially the fans. To help create a camaraderie, the basketball star participates on sidelines conversations and fun half-court shooting contest post-practice. Barrios continues,“Aside from the high energy that I notice that is prevailing in the whole team, as far as Jordan is concerned, he is very comfortable during side interactions with the people around him.”
The former Sixth Man of the Year will take on Lebanon on the road on August 25th and then host Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena on August 25th.
Cover Photo Credit: Jordan Clarkson Instagram