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Strong 2nd half lifts Gilas past Jordan

Jamie Malonzo soars for the jam. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Gilas Pilipinas shut down Jordan in the second half to score a huge 74-66 win to open their campaign in the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers early Friday (Philippine Time) at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman.

Down 37-41 at halftime, Gilas took charge in the third quarter, outscoring Jordan, 21-10, to take a 58-51 lead to the fourth.

Gilas would extend the lead to as much as 13, 71-58, with around three minutes left in the game before Jordan somehow finished the game strong to make it a more respectable deficit.

Kai Sotto made up for his defensive struggles against Ahmad Al-Dwairi with a solid offensive game of 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc on top of seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocks, both coming since he turned his attention on Zaid Abbas, to lead Gilas, which moved up to 4-3 in Group E play.

Ray-Ray Parks sizzled from long range in the first half to keep Gilas afloat on the road and finished with 13 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Scottie Thompson, tasked to play starting point guard in the absence of Kiefer Ravena, came close to a triple-double with eight points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists with one steal.

Dar Tucker made 23 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal, while Al-Dwairi added 18 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals for Jordan, which fell to 3-4.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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