CLARKSON AT GILAS KINAPOS SA LEBANON

HINDI kinaya ni Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson at ng Gilas Pilipinas ang Lebanon, 85-81, sa fourth window ng 2023 FIBA World Cup Asia Qualifier na ginanap sa Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex, Beirut.

Bigo ang Gilas pigilan ang tinanghal na Asia Cup Most Valuable Player na si Wael Arakji, kumamada ng pitong puntos sa huling 59 segundo.

Unang isinalpak ni Arakji ang dalawang importanteng free throws upang basagin ang 78-all deadlock bago ibinagsak ang importanteng tres sa harap mismo ng dating NBA Sixth Man of the Year para sa 83-78 abante ng home team, 18.3 segundo ang nalalabi sa laro.

Tuluyang sinelyuhan ni Arakji ang panalo ng Lebanon sa pagsalaksak ng pares ng freebies para sa 6-1 panalo-talong record sa Asia Qualifier.

Nasayang ang all-around game ni Clarkson na tumapos na may 27 puntos, anim na rebounds at pitong assists.

“I think we did a good job of competing. Coach prepared us really well trying to scout this team out. We had a great game plan coming in, and it’s just like we had a lot of turnovers you know, we got missed shots, stuff like that, and it is hard to win a game if we had a 20+ turnovers especially the home crowd behind them,” ayon sa Fil-Am NBA player.

“For me first this is bait, we just get this team together, put some goody stars in the team, do I play really well tonight, Kai (Sotto) played well. I think it was really a good all-around effort in the game,” dagdag niya.

Bumagsak sa 2-3 panalo-talong record ang Gilas, na ang susunod na game ay kontra Saudi Arabia sa Agosto 29 sa Mall of Asia arena.

“I missed some shots towards the end of the game, and I feel I used to make that as well, so it was so tough for the night, we just got to take it on the head, and get back to the drawing board when we got back to Manila where we will meet Saudi Arabia. We got to be prepared for that and got to win at home, ” sabi pa ni Clarkson.

Nagambag si Dwight Ramos ng 18 puntos, 10 rebounds, 2 assists at 6 steals; Japeth Aguilar 11 puntos, 6 rebounds, 1 steal at 1 block; at Sotto, 10 puntos, 8 rebounds at 2 blocks.  (Ann Encarnacion)

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