Pinoy Dribblers Wallop Japan
JAKARTA—The Philippines vented all of its frustrations on an undermanned Japanese side as it pulled off an emphatic 113-80 victory to assure itself of at least a sixth-place finish in the 18th Asian Games Basketball Competitions at the Gelora Bung Karno Basketball Hall on Tuesday.
The 33-point triumph, which arrested the team’s two heartbreaking losses to China and Korea, improved on the Philippines’ previous seventh-place ranking in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
But the Rain or Shine-led Philippine Team ain’t done yet.
It needs to face the winner of the scheduled Syria-Indonesia classification match later in the night to get a crack at the no. 5 spot on Friday.
“We are assured of sixth place. But we still have to play one game against winner of Syria and Indonesia. We want to finish our campaign here (with a win), even if we don’t have a medal,” said coach Yeng Guiao.
For the first time in these games, the nationals looked like they were finally having fun on the court.
They were led by NBA star Jordan Clarkson, who banged in 22 points and added a team-high nine assists, and and Fil-German Christian Standhardinger, who frolicked inside with 27 markers and 13 rebounds.
Clarkson will be joining the team until its final game. He planes back to the US immediately after its game on Friday.
From a tight first half, the nationals broke away in the second period with a five-point swing from Standhardinger and basket from Raymond Almazan, giving the team a 57-47 lead at the half.
They held the Japanese scoreless for over four minutes at the start of the third while scoring 11 to go up by 21 points at 68-47.
Japan, which sent four of its players home for paying prostitutes for sex, closed in to within 15, five times the last 78-93, but the nationals finished even stronger as a Clarkson dun triggered a 10-point explosion that gave them a 103-78 lead.
Philippines 113 – Standhardinger 27, Clarkson 22, Lee 17, Pringle 9, Belga 7, Almazan 6, Taulava 6, Norwood 5, Ahanmisi 5, Tiu 5, Erram 4.
Japan 80 – Nakamura 16, Kumagae 15, Vendrame 11, Shaefer 11, Ota 10, Harimoto 10, Tsuji 5, Tamaki 2.
Quarters: 27-27; 57-47; 82-64; 113-80.