Lebanon def. Gilas Pilipinas, 85-81 (FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers) August 26 | 4th Window

Photo credit: FIBA Asia | fiba.basketball

Lebanon (world #54, Asia #9) escapes past Gilas Pilipinas Men (world #34, Asia #6), 85-81 in the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Friday at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Zouk Mikael, Lebanon.

The FIBA Asia Cup 2022 MVP Wael Arakji led the Cedars with 24 points (6/17 fg, 2/6 3pts, 10/11ft) along with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in 35 minutes of play. Amir Saoud added 17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals while Ali Haidar finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

Jordan Clarkson paced Gilas with game-high 27 points (6/17fg, 2/9 3pts, 13/16ft) to go with 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Dwight Ramos with a solid double-double game of 18 points (5/11 fg, 3/7 3pts, 5/6ft), game-high 10 rebounds, 2 asssists and 6 steals. Japeth Aguilar added 11 points and 6 rebounds while Kai Sotto had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Gilas committed 21 turnovers while Lebanon only had 9, PHL shot 24/55 (43%) from the field including 6-of-23 shooting from downtown (LBN - 26/70 fg, 11/35 3pts) and Gilas went 27-of-34 from the free throw line (LBN- 22/33 ft). Gilas outrebounded the Cedars 48-36, while Lebanon had more steals 10-7.

"Unfortunately, we had too many turnovers - 21 turnovers really was the big difference in this ballgame and that's just a result of us not yet as familiar with each other as we'd like to be. If we get some more time or more practice together, then we should be able to address that," said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes in a post-game conference as per spin.ph.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game. It was going to be difficult because we're playing the No. 2 team in Asia from the Fiba Asia Cup playing at home. So we expected that it will be a big challenge, big battle for us. But I'm very proud of the way our team played. I thought we battled and we battled hard. We competed, gave it our best shot. Unfortunately, the results didn't come out our way." Reyes added.

Gilas will try to bounce back on Monday, August 29 at 7:00pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena against Saudi Arabia. [LIVE]

The Scores:

LEBANON 85 - Arakji 24 (3reb 2ast), Saoud 17 (4reb 1ast 2stl), Haidar 10 (9reb 4ast), Gyokchyan 9 (3reb 4ast), Zeinoun 7 (4reb 2ast 2stl), Arledge 6 (4reb), Chamoun 3 (1reb), Ezzedine 3 (3reb 2ast), Mansour 3 (2reb), Mezher 3 (1reb).

PHILIPPINES 81 – Clarkson 27 (6reb 7ast), Ramos 18 (10reb 2ast 6stl), Aguilar 11 (6reb), Sotto 10 (8reb 2blk), Thompson 4 (5reb 3ast), Newsome 3 (2reb), Malonzo 3 (1reb 1ast 3/3ft), K Ravena 3 (2ast), T Ravena 2 (1reb), Oftana 0 (2ast), Parks 0, Tamayo 0 (2reb 1ast).

Quarters: 22-25, 49-47, 68-63, 85-81. [GAME STATS] | [GAME HIGHLIGHTS] | [Buy Gilas Jersey]

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