South Sudan’s Nuni Omot says Gilas players had no quit in them


South Sudan’s Nuni Omot. -MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—South Sudan’s Nuni Omot had some positive things to say about Gilas Pilipinas after their battle in the 2023 Fiba World Cup classification phase at Araneta Coliseum on Thursday.

The Sudanese came out with an 87-68 victory over Gilas, but not after withstanding a fightback from the Filipinos.

Omot, who finished with 13 points, just had to tip his hat to the Philippines for not backing down even when they built a commanding lead early in the game. 

“They made a big run. Hats off to them for sticking with it after being down by a large margin. Not a lot of teams are able to do that so respect to them for fighting and staying with it the whole game,” he said.

“A lot of other teams, when they’re down by that much they don’t continue to fight so I respect them for that.”

South Sudan was up by as high as 21 before Gilas slashed the deficit down to four, 60-56, in the fourth quarter after a Kai Sotto dunk off a lob from AJ Edu.

But it was all South Sudan from there with Carlik Jones hitting timely buckets down the stretch to pull the plug on the Philippines’ comeback bid and hopes for an outright berth to the Paris Olympics. Jones nearly notched the first-ever triple-double in Fiba World Cup history with 17 points, nine rebounds and 14 assists.

“A lot of teams quit when they are down by a lot, that explains the types of players they are, how they’re coached and the type of heart they have for continuing to fight,” said Omot.

“They shoot the ball really well. Playing in front of the home crowd was very hard and for us to be able to get a win in front of their home environment is big.”

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