Clarkson shines in Gilas drubbing of Saudi Arabia at home

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 29) — Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson dazzled in front of a big hometown crowd as he carried Gilas Pilipinas to an 84-46 victory over Saudi Arabia in the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Clarkson, the Utah Jazz star guard and the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2021, tallied 23 points, six assists, and five rebounds as he put on a show before 19,829 fans Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The first quarter was highlighted by Clarkson’s near halfcourt heave to beat the buzzer and put Gilas within striking distance.

After the lethargic start, Gilas took control of the tempo sparked by Clarkson’s outside shots and Dwight Ramos’ relentless drives to establish a 37-28 edge going into the halftime break.

Riding on the momentum built by Clarkson, Gilas went on a scoring spree as it dropped 24 points and limited Saudi Arabia to just eight points in the third period.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. arrived during the third frame to witness the morale-boosting win for the Philippines.

EARLIER: President Bongbong Marcos arrives during the third quarter of the game between Gilas Pilipinas and Saudi Arabia for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Kai Sotto finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds for Gilas, which improved its win-loss record to 3-3 in Group E of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia absorbed its fifth defeat in six outings.

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