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    Chot sees Gilas core for World Cup now starting to take shape

    Aug 30, 2022
    Jordan Clarkson, Kai Sotto, Jamie Malonzo, Gilas
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    CHOT Reyes said he has a fairly good idea on the core of the Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

    Without naming names, Reyes admitted some of the players who suited up in the two games of the August window are certain of making the roster when Gilas battles the best basketball teams in the world from August 25 to September 10 next year.

    [READ: Clarkson, Ramos set tone for morale-boosting Gilas rout of Saudi]

    “Yes, there’s still some guys we’d like to look at, but by and large, yeah,” said the Gilas coach when asked about the possible composition of the team to the world championship.

    So far, shoo-ins for the team is NBA star Jordan Clarkson and young big man Kai Sotto, who appeared to have developed a quick bond with based on the way they played during the Lebanon and Saudi Arabia games.

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      Against the Saudis on Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, Clarkson threw a perfect pass to Sotto for an alley-oop dunk that brought the crowd of 19,829 to its feet.

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      Clarkson finished with a game-high 23 points, while Sotto had a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds.

      Dwight Ramos and Japeth Aguilar are two other players who also gave a good account of themselves in the two games which Gilas Pilipinas split. Ramos and Aguilar added nine and eight in the 84-46 victory over Saudi, duplicating the same effort they did against Lebanon in an 85-81 loss.

      Kai Sotto Jordan Clarkson Gilas

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      “We saw how Dwight and JC played together aside from Kai. So I think that was very important,” said Reyes.

      "And we also had the chance to test the versatility of the team, sometimes we’d go big with Kai and Japeth together. Sometimes we’d go regular, or sometimes we’d go small when we don’t have our real power forward or a 4 guy on the floor,” added the Gilas coach.

      “I think that’s important moving forward that we become adaptable, that we’re shape-shifters which I’d like to call it, that we can adapt to what the game needs and what the opposition brings to us.”

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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