Expect more cohesive Gilas at home turf vs. Saudi Arabia – manilastandard.net

More time together in practice and in its next game will hopefully make the Gilas Pilipinas national men’s basketball team a much better, cohesive squad than it was against Lebanon.
Coach Chot Reyes said this as Team Philippines heads into a 7 p.m. clash Monday against Saudi Arabia before a home crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ fourth window.
“We are not familiar with each other. If we get some more time to practice together, then we should be able to address that,” said Reyes after Team Philippines took a 85-80 setback to Lebanon on Thursday in an away-game.
Reyes pointed out their 21 turnovers as one of the culprits when they fell to the Cedars.
Saudi Arabia heads into action against Gilas, reeling from a 65-80 loss to the New Zealand Tall Blacks in a home game in Dammam.
A big crowd of fans is expected to cheer on the Gilas squad, which has a 2-3 win-loss record in Group E for fourth place, while Saudi Arabia is behind at 1-4.
Above the Philippines are New Zealand (5-0), Lebanon (4-1), and Jordan (3-2). India is 0-5.
Filipino fans will be rooting for Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, who will be playing before home fans for the first time.
In the Lebanon game, Clarkson was ably backed up by Dwight Ramos, Kai Sotto and Japeth Aguilar, who logged a lot of minutes inside the floor.
Also expected to provide support are Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana and Ravena brothers Kiefer and Thirdy.
“For us, it’s about getting this team together,” said Clarkson after the match.
Gilas won’t have big man Carl Tamayo in its next encounter, but he will be replaced by Roosevelt Adams.
Adams, a 6’5” sniper and the first overall pick in the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft, takes the place of Tamayo, who will join reigning UAAP champion University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in their training camp in South Korea.

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