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Guiao takes blame on Gilas' QF exit

Jordan Clarkson struggled to get through South Korea's zone defense despite making 25 points. PSC Media Pool

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Coach Yeng Guiao pinned the blame on himself after Gilas Pilipinas bowed out of the medal race in the Asian Games with a quarterfinal loss against South Korea on Monday in Jakarta.

[Related Story: SoKor ousts Gilas in Asiad hoops]

"It’s my fault. I take responsibility for this loss," Guiao said.

Gilas was actually in the thick of things for most of the game, bouncing back from a slow start en route to taking a lead as high as eight.

However, South Korea came alive in the fourth quarter, dropping 27 points while taking advantage of Gilas' failure to secure the rebound and more importantly the turnovers thanks to the Koreans' zone defense.

"We just weren't comfortable with the zone. Even Jordan (Clarkson) had a lot of problems dealing with it," Guiao continued. "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."

Clarkson, after a third quarter explosion, was limited to just a basket, a highlight reel-worthy acrobatic layup that turned out to be Gilas' last gasp, in the final frame.

Now, Guiao looks to avert matching the Filipinos' worst finish in recent Asiad memory set in 2014, where it only ranked seventh place.

“We’ll go for fifth. It’s the least we could do,” said Guiao, whose squad will face Japan in a classification match on Tuesday.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno