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    Chot raves about Gilas' improved defense in narrow win vs Saudi

    Nov 14, 2022
    Gilas vs saudi
    PHOTO: fiba.basketball

    GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes continued to rave about the team's vastly improved defense after completing a sweep of its games in the fifth window of the 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers on the road.

    After the Philippines repeated over Saudi Arabia, 76-63, on Monday (Manila time) in Jeddah, the outspoken mentor zeroed in on the field goal story as the visiting Gilas made life hard for the hosts in this physical affair.

    "Obviously we're very happy with the result. For the game, we really focused on our defense and we're able to stop their players," he said. "I think the result that we're able to hold them below 70 points speaks well of our ability to defend."

    [READ: Gilas puts away tough Saudi to complete fifth-window sweep]

    Saudi Arabia shot only 29-percent from the floor while also losing the rebounding battle, 48 to 40. Compare that to Gilas' 44-percent clip and the discrepancy is evident.

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    The hosts also saw their 19-year-old prodigy Hazim Bader Aljohar held to just five points in the contest after putting up 16 points and seven rebounds in a convincing win against India just two days earlier.

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      For Reyes, that was proof of how serious the Philippines approached the game, putting the 84-46 blowout in August in the rearview mirrow and acknowledging how dangerous this Saudi Arabia team is with Dutch coach Johan Roijakkers now at the helm.

      "We knew it was going to be a tough game. We expected it. We knew the high quality of this team so we mentally prepared ourselves for the struggle," he said.

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      With that, Gilas comes home with a 5-3 record in Group E as it turns its attention to February next year for the sixth and final window of the qualifiers with home games slated against Lebanon and Jordan.

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      PHOTO: fiba.basketball
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