Gilas nets first win in King Abdullah Cup

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2021 08:15 PM

Gilas nets first win in King Abdullah Cup 1
Justine Baltazar shone for the Philippines against Saudi Arabia. FIBA.basketball 

MANILA, Philippines -- Gilas Pilipinas barged into the win column in the King Abdullah Cup on Tuesday night, after a 77-62 victory over Saudi Arabia at the Prince Hamzah Sports Hall in Amman, Jordan.

One day after absorbing a 73-60 defeat against Egypt, the young Philippine team got untracked, with Justine Baltazar leading the way offensively.

The standout from De La Salle University put up 16 points, making all five of his field goals -- including four three-pointers. He also had four assists and three rebounds. 

Ange Kouame added 10 points and six boards, while Isaac Go also contributed 10 points as Gilas shot 41% from the field.

Gilas seized control at the half, building a 43-30 advantage with Baltazar proving unstoppable. They went on to lead by as much as 20 points, 69-49, off a Dwight Ramos bucket with over seven minutes to play.

Saudi Arabia closed to within 10 points, 69-59, with under five minutes to play, but a booming three-pointer by Carl Tamayo restored a more comfortable lead for the Philippines, and Gilas cruised to the victory. 

The Philippines now has a 1-1 win-loss record in the tournament.

Mohammed Alsuwailem led Saudi Arabia with 18 points.

Gilas returns to action on Wednesday night against Jordan-B. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. in Manila. 

The scores:

PHILIPPINES 77 -- Baltazar 16, Kouame 10, Go 10, Ildefonso 8, Ramos 7, Ravena 6, Heading 6, Tamayo 5, Navarro 3, Abarrientos 3, Chiu 2, Belangel 1, Suerte 0, Mi. Nieto 0.

SAUDI ARABIA 62 -- Alsuwailem 18, Gabar 12, Jalas 10, Kadi 8, Shubayli 5, Ma. Almarwani 2, Mo. Almarwani 2, Albargawi 2, Alhosawe 2, Belal 1, Alsager 0, Althalabi 0, Brnawi 0.

Quarters: 19-14, 43-30, 65-49, 77-62.