PH Dribblers Fail to Break Korean Curse
JAKARTA—The Korean curse continued to haunt the Philippine basketball team in the 2018 Asian Games.
A barrage of triples and another monster game from naturalized player Ricardo Ratliffe did the trick for the Koreans, who scored a 91-82 win that ended all of the Filipinos’ hopes of advancing to the medal round in the sport that the country is crazy about.
The Koreans hit 12 triples, five in the fourth quarter when they pulled away.
Ratcliffe, a former import for the Star Hotshots in the Philippine Basketball Association, was a steadying force all game long for the Koreans, scoring a game-high 30 points, while hauling 14 boards.
He also had four of Korea’s 27 assists, proof of the team’s crisp ball movement that had Coach Yeng Guiao’s nationals scrambling on defense.
“It’s my fault, I take responsibility for this loss,” said Guiao, whose wards could not handle the Koreans’ long bombs, Ratliffe and zone defense.
“We just weren’t comfortable with the zone. Even Jordan (Clarkson) had a lot of problems dealing with it. They just zoned us all game long. They stuck with the zone, lived and died with the zone, and we couldn’t adjust in time,” Guiao added.
Even when the Filipinos led comfortably, 54-46, the Koreans stuck to their zone and kept shooting the long bombs that were not falling.
When they did in the fourth quarter, the Koreans began pulling away at 72-68 on a three by Heo Ilyoung.
Stanley Pringle momentarily stopped the bleeding with a reverse layup, but Ratliffe’s dunk and Heo’s three gave the Koreans firm control of the match at 77-70.
Clarkson finished with 25 points and eight rebounds, while Fil-German Christian Standhardinger backed him up with 16 points and nine boards.
The loss put the Philippines in classification phase where the highest finish it can achieve is fifth place, still better than the seventh its Gilas Pilipinas counterpart achieved in the 2014 Incheon Asiad.
“We’ll go for fifth. It’s the least we could do,” said Guiao.
Korea 91 – Ratliffe 30, Kim Sunhyung 17, Heo Ilyoung 17, Lee Seounghyun 11, Jeo Junbeom 9, Heo Ung 6, Lee Junghyun 1, Park Chanhee 0, Choi Junyong 0.
Philippines 82 – Clarkson 25, Standhardinger 16, Pringle 14, Lee 11, Norwood 5, Almazan 5, Tiu 3, Belga 3, Erram 0, Taulava 0.
Quarters: 22-18; 42-44; 64-65; 91-82.