The Gilas Pilipinas beat Saudi Arabia in a 76-63 victory in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers held at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jeddah at 12 am PHT November 14, 2022.
Roger Pogoy led Gilas in scoring with 13 points (11 in 3rd quarter) along with 3 threes, and 4 rebounds. Dwight Ramos followed suit by scoring 13 points, grabbing 3 rebounds, and dishing out 4 assists. Kai Sotto anchored Gilas’ defense in the first half with 3 blocks and ultimately finishing the game with 11 points, 9 rebounds, and an astounding 5 blocks as he flirts on a near double-double performance. Scottie Thompson was a point and a rebound shy of a double-double performance as well by logging 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals for Gilas with a crucial steal late in the 4th quarter to seal Saudi Arabia’s fate. Jaymar Perez also contributed 10 points and 4 rebounds.
The game was neck-and-neck during the first half as each team were tied in the 1st quarter with 16 apiece due to a defensive clinic shown by both teams. The Filipinos managed to run their offense smoothly in the 2nd quarter as they found themselves with a 6-point advantage by half-time, 31-25.
Gilas opened the 3rd quarter with a 9-2 run behind Roger “RR” Pogoy’s 11-point outburst as he splashed 3 threes enroute to a 16-point advantage, 50-34. The Saudi Arabians managed to finish the quarter with a sense of urgency as they cut the Gilas lead to 10 points, 55-45.
Going into the 4th, Mahatna Almarwani hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to single digits at 61-53, and then he splashed another 3-point bomb late in the fourth in which they would still trail Gilas at 69-61. Scottie Thompson with a crucial steal on Saudi Arabia’s defensive rebound, and then a series of free-throw attempts sealed Saudi Arabia’s fate as they would fall to Gilas Pilipinas.
The Gilas Pilipinas would move on with a 5-3 record as they finished strong in the fifth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.