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Pinoy Box Break

Dominican Republic Edges Philippines in Thrilling FIBA Basketball World Cup Opener

by | Posted on: August 26th, 2023 | No Comments | Sports

In an electrifying start to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, the Dominican Republic emerged victorious over the co-hosts Philippines with a final score of 87-81. The Dominican team spoiled the host nation’s hopes in front of a record-breaking crowd at the Philippine Arena, marking the beginning of their Group A journey with an impressive win.

The match proved to be a nail-biting battle between two basketball powerhouses, and the NBA stars from both teams, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jordan Clarkson, took center stage. Despite Clarkson’s stellar performance of 28 points, he fouled out in the closing stages, leaving an impact on the game’s outcome.

The Dominicans showcased their resilience and demonstrated their dominance over the Philippines for the second time, having previously defeated them 94-67 during the group stage of the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade. The game unfolded before an awe-inspiring crowd of 38,115 fans, breaking the previous record for the largest attendance at a World Cup game held indoors.

Karl-Anthony Towns, a force to be reckoned with, led the Dominican Republic’s charge. Despite facing struggles with his field goal shooting, Towns proved his prowess at the free-throw line, sinking an impressive 15-of-16 attempts to secure 26 points. He also dominated the boards with 10 rebounds.

One of the defining factors of the game was the Dominicans’ relentless pursuit of offensive rebounds, grabbing 17 compared to the Philippines’ 3. Additionally, the Dominicans’ defense stifled the Philippines’ long-range shooting, limiting them to just 6-of-18 (33 percent) from beyond the arc. The Dominican Republic’s well-executed strategy forced 19 turnovers from their opponents.

The Dominican Republic’s resilience was on full display, setting the stage for their upcoming clash against Italy, another victorious team on opening night. The outcome of this anticipated matchup could play a pivotal role in determining the leader of Group A.

Dominican Republic’s head coach Nester Garcia commended the Philippines’ strong performance and emphasized his team’s ability to remain composed during critical moments. Karl-Anthony Towns expressed his elation at getting the first win of the World Cup and praised his teammates for their collective effort.

The loss was a tough blow for the Philippines, as they aimed to capitalize on their home advantage. Philippines’ coach Chot Reyes acknowledged the team’s efforts and the closeness of the game. Despite the loss, the Philippine squad is determined to regroup and face Angola in their next matchup.

The Dominican Republic secured an 87-81 victory, with Karl-Anthony Towns leading with 26 points, Victor Liz contributing 18 points, and Andres Feliz adding 12 points, while Delgado, Jean Montero, and Figueroa each scored 6 points. Peña, Vargas, and Mendoza added 5, 5, and 2 points respectively.

On the Philippine side, Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points, June Mar Fajardo contributed 16 points, Dwight Ramos added 13 points, and AJ Edu and Roger Pogoy each scored 7 and 6 points. Scottie Thompson had 5 points, while Abando, Japeth Aguilar, and Ravena added 2 points each.

Despite the loss, the Philippines is determined to bounce back in their next game against Angola at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, August 27. As the FIBA Basketball World Cup continues to unfold, this thrilling opener has set the tone for an intense and unpredictable tournament.