Gilastopainters fall short against taller China

Raymond Almazan is wide open for the jam. PSC Media Pool
By Gil Moriones

MANILA -- With his most awaited debut for the Philippine national team, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson registered 28 points, eight rebounds, and four assists for the Filipinos, but it was not enough to stand still against the taller Chinese and fell short by two, 82-80, at Gelura Bung Karno Basketball Complex in Jakarta, Monday night.

Houston Rocket Zhou Qi empowered the Chinese team with his effort of 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks.

However, Christian Standhardinger did not hesitate to crash boards and claim points even he was already checked by the giants and eventually listed 18 points and eight rebounds.

Despite the slow start in the first half, Poy Erram led the dramatic run for Gilas at the last minute in the fourth quarter with his crucial trey, while Stanley Pringle's slashing and aggressive move to the paint added to Gilas's cause as the Chinese lead was cut back into three, 71-74.

Paul Lee made it even at 74 apiece with his miracle buzzer-beating three-pointer, and Standhardinger gave the "Gilastopainters" a 76-74 lead with his crucial free throws. Gilas would hold on to an 80-78 advantage in the dying moments

However, Pringle committed a huge turnover leading to Zhao Rui's equalizing layup. Rui eventually won it for China with two free throws with 45 seconds remaining.

Lee actually gave China one final scare with a good look from three-point land, but his shot did not fall in as time expired.

However, Coach Yeng Guiao is happy with his team's performance.

“I don’t see this as a loss,” he said.

Wang Zhelin contributed 13 points, while Golden State Warriors' Summer League player Abushalamu Abudurexiti with 12 points as China acclaimed their first win in Group D.

Unless Kazakhstan beat China by at least 36 points, Philippines will be the top tier of Group D in case of a three-way tie at 1-1.

But with China very likely to beat Kazakhstan, Gilas could end up facing Group A leader South Korea in the next phase.


CHINA 82-Zhou 25, Wang 13, Abudurexiti 12, Zhao 11, Ding 7, Sun 6, Liu 5, Fang 2, Dong 1

PHILIPPINES 80-Clarkson 28, Standhardinger 18, Pringle 14, Lee 10, Erram 6, Almazan 2, Belga 2, Yap 0 , Norwood 0, Ahamnisi 0, Taulava 0.

Quarterscores: 20-12, 36-31, 59-57, 82-80

With a report from Ivan Saldajeno

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