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Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

Jordan Clarkson goes berserk vs China as Gilas avoid winless FIBA WC


In the end, Chot Reyes was able to secure his graceful exit.

Relying on Jordan Clarkson, Gilas Pilipinas managed to salvage pride, routing their continental rival China, 96-75, to conclude their campaign in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 on Saturday night.

In a revenge act five years in the making, Clarkson showcased his NBA pedigree in a quarter for the ages in the global showpiece.

With Gilas trailing 39-40 at halftime, Clarkson single-handedly carried the Philippines on his back, scoring 24 of his 34 points in the third quarter.FIBA-WC-PHI-vs.-CHN-Jordan-Clarkson-0081 Jordan Clarkson goes berserk vs China as Gilas avoid winless FIBA WC 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

The most breathtaking moment occurred when the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year connected on four consecutive triples, with each three-pointer igniting the 11,080 fans inside the SMART Araneta Coliseum into a frenzy.

“In that third quarter, my teammates were finding me. We started getting good screens, good looks, and (I was) just able to knock them down,” said Clarkson. “The energy from the crowd, honestly, when you start hearing it as loud as it was, it’s kind of hard to calm me down in that time, and I stayed hot.”

Setting his FIBA career-high was Anyang KGC sophomore Rhenz Abando, tallying 14 points and five rebounds.FIBA-WC-PHI-vs.-CHN-Rhenz-Abando-0540-1 Jordan Clarkson goes berserk vs China as Gilas avoid winless FIBA WC 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Kai Sotto, who is set to leave for Hiroshima in a few days, contributed 12 points and six rebounds – his best game in the tournament – while Dwight Ramos, the Hokkaido standout who turned 25 years old today, amassed 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists.FIBA-WC-PHI-vs.-CHN-Dwight-Ramos-1670 Jordan Clarkson goes berserk vs China as Gilas avoid winless FIBA WC 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Meanwhile, incoming Toyama rookie AJ Edu was the anchor for the team, producing 10 rebounds, five points, and a block.

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But what followed after the game stole the thunder from the victory.

Moments after the win, Chot Reyes announced that he had stepped down as Gilas head coach. This time, though, there won’t be a return in sight.

FIBA-WC-PHI-vs.-CHN-Chot-Reyes-1474 Jordan Clarkson goes berserk vs China as Gilas avoid winless FIBA WC 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news“Iba talaga, ang bigat e,” said Reyes, who had firmly decided to leave the post he was appointed to on January 31, 2022, even before the game. “Noong na-lift yung expectation, lumabas yung laro. Unfortunately, the results didn’t come out as we expected. But to end with a win, there’s no greater feeling.”

Nevertheless, it was a failed campaign for the Philippines, who had high expectations for the tournament.

Ending with a 1-4 record, Gilas were unable to advance to the next round or secure an outright spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The same was true for China, who finished below the Philippines in the rankings due to point differential.

China’s cause was not helped by Zhou Qi suffering an injury just seven minutes into the contest, turning the game into an 11-on-11 matchup as Jamie Malonzo was also out for the Philippines.

Kyle Anderson contributed 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists for China, while Zhang Zhenlin added 13 points. Hu Mingxuan and Zhao Jiwei chipped in with 12 markers each as well.

The Scores

Philippines 96 – Clarkson 34, Abando 14, Sotto 12, Ramos 11, Fajardo 9, Pogoy 7, Edu 5, Thompson 4, Ravena 0, Aguilar 0.

China 75 – Li 17, Zhang 13, M. Hu 12, R. Zhao 12, J. Hu 10, Zhu 5, Cui 2, Fu 2, Zhou 2, J. Zhao 0.

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Quarterscores: 16-16, 39-40, 73-51, 96-75.

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