Jordan Clarkson gave Gilas Pilipinas a huge boost versus China, but the result was still painful.
Clarkson had 28 points and eight rebounds, but the breaks of the game veered away from Gilas and led to their 80-82 defeat to China in the 2018 Asian Games, Tuesday evening at the GBK Basketball Hall in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Philippines’ record versus the Chinese in the quadriennial showpiece is now 1-11 with the stinging defeat. Moreover, the loss sent the country’s record to 1-1, but they are still bound for the quarterfinals.
Clarkson was Gilas’ offensive anchor, most especially in the third canto, as he led the Filipino dribblers back from 12 points down – the game’s widest gap – and tie things up at 55 through his trey with 2:35 left.
The Chinese were able to post a 72-62 lead with 6:29 to go in the fourth, but the Philippines made a rousing 18-5 rally behind Stanley Pringle to take their first lead since starting the match at 5-0, 80-77, with 1:23 remaining.
But unfortunately, Gilas did not have a finishing kick. They missed point-blank shots that might have iced the game, and China scored five straight – ended by Zhou Rui’s freebies with 13 ticks left – to regain the upper hand, 82-80.
Paul Lee tried to weave some magic like he did back in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup, but his pull-up from beyond the arc only hit the rim’s back iron.
Christian Standhardinger provided 18 points and eight rebounds. Stanley Pringle supplied 14 points and four caroms, while Lee chimed in 10 markers in the defeat. All three had a hand in Gilas’ fourth quarter rally.
Zhou Qi paced the Chinese squad with 25 points and 12 rebounds with seven blocks. Fellow big man Wang Zhelin had 13 points and seven boards, while Abudushalamu Abudurexit had 12 markers and eight caroms.
The quarterfinals will start on August 27, and Gilas might face Korea, as the latter have emerged as Group A’s leader.
Philippines 80 – Clarkson 28, Standhardinger 18, Pringle 14, Lee 10, Erram 6, Almazan 2, Belga 2, Norwood 0, Ahanmisi 0, Yap 0, Taulava 0.
China 82 – Zhou 25, Wang 13, Abudurexiti 12, Zhao 11, Ding 7, Sun 6, Liu 5, Fang 2, Dong 1.
Quarterscores: 12-20, 31-36, 57-59, 80-82.