Gilas Pilipinas tightened up its defense against host Jordan in the second half and cruised to a big win, 74-66, Friday morning (Philippine time) in the 5th window of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers at the Prince Hamza Arena in Amman, Jordan.
Scottie Thompson came through with a near triple-double performance of 8 points, 13 boards, 8 assists and a steal in 28 minutes of play as the Philippine national basketball team picked up its first road win in the qualifiers and dealt the Falcons their first home loss since September 2018.
Gilas improved to 4-3 which is good for solo 3rd place behind the identical 6-1 records of New Zealand and Lebanon.
“Well, we knew it was going to be a tough game, we have very high respect for the Jordan basketball team. We have met them so many times in the past, even the coach. Obviously, we are very happy with the result,” said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes.
“Before the game, we focused on defense and stopping their main players. The result is we were able to hold them to below 70 points. I think that speaks well of our ability to defend. Our defense carried us in the game,” he added.
Kai Sotto paced Gilas with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Ray Parks finished with 13 markers while CJ Perez added 11.
Gilas will close out its campaign in the 5th window against Saudi Arabia on Monday, November 14, 12 midnight (Philippine time) at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Philippines 74 – Sotto 16, Parks 13, Perez 11, Thompson 8, Pogoy 7, Ramos 5, Aguilar 5, Erram 4, Malonzo 3, Kouame 2, Oftana 0.
Jordan 66 – Tucker 23, Al Dwairi 18, Bzai 9, H. Abbas 7, Ibrahim 6, Alhendi 3, Alhamarsheh 0, Z. Abbas 0, Hussein 0, Kanaan 0, Alnajdawi 0.
Quarters: 21-20, 37-41, 58-51, 74-66.