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Pinoy Box Break

Gilas Pilipinas Makes History with Jordan Clarkson’s Explosive Performance Against China

by | Posted on: September 3rd, 2023 | No Comments | Sports

In a thrilling display of basketball prowess and national pride, Gilas Pilipinas, led by NBA star Jordan Clarkson, claimed a resounding 96-75 victory over China in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The game, which took place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, marked the end of the Philippines’ World Cup campaign, and it was a victory that left fans and players alike elated.

The Filipino team came out strong, opening the game with seven unanswered points. However, they saw their lead disappear by the end of the first quarter, as the Chinese squad fought back. But this time, Gilas Pilipinas remained determined and kept their composure throughout the match.

Coach Chot Reyes, recognizing the importance of the game for Filipino fans, kept the message simple for his players. He revealed, “We just had two words on our board, no Xs and Os. ‘Dig deep.’ We reminded the players that this being a non-bearing game, Filipinos still came to watch. We wanted to gift the Filipino people for their continued belief in the team. And that’s what the players did.”

The unquestionable star of the game was Jordan Clarkson, who delivered a spectacular performance, scoring 34 points, with 24 of those coming in an explosive third quarter. His remarkable display of scoring prowess included hitting four consecutive three-pointers, leaving the crowd in awe.

Clarkson’s impact on the team and the game was evident, as he not only scored points but also provided a vital spark that propelled Gilas Pilipinas to a 13-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Aside from Clarkson, several other players contributed significantly to the victory. Rhenz Abando chipped in with 14 points, while Kai Sotto added 14 points and six rebounds. Dwight Ramos also had a solid performance with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

On the opposing side, China’s naturalized ace, Kyle Anderson, put up a commendable effort with 17 points and nine rebounds. However, it was not enough to overcome the relentless Filipino squad.

The victory had historical significance as it marked the Philippines’ first FIBA World Cup win since 2014, when they defeated Senegal in overtime. It also ended the country’s near-decade-long wait for a World Cup victory on home soil.

Despite the elation surrounding the win, Gilas Pilipinas fell short of securing an outright berth in the Paris Olympics as the top Asian nation. The team ended the tournament with a 1-4 record, ultimately finishing second in Group M behind South Sudan.

Coach Chot Reyes, acknowledging the letdown in the World Cup campaign, expressed his intention to step aside, saying, “I think it is time for somebody else. I signed up to do a job and I did not deliver the result, so I think it is time to step aside and allow the SBP to make a decision for the good of the team and the program.”

Despite falling short of Olympic qualification, the victory over China was a source of immense pride and joy for Gilas Pilipinas and their fans. It was a fitting end to a challenging journey in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and it showcased the team’s resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

In the words of Coach Chot Reyes, “Unfortunately, the results did not come out as we expected, but to end with a win – no greater feeling.” The Filipino basketball community, along with their newfound hero Jordan Clarkson, celebrated a memorable victory that will be cherished for years to come.