The result didn’t reflect the type of performance the Philippines put forth in its basketball game against China on Tuesday.
It was a defeat on paper, but a win in the team’s minds and hearts.
Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points in his first game wearing the national-team jersey, but the Filipinos’ collective effort fell short in an 82-80 loss to China in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Clarkson was as good as advertised, playing the role of a one-man wrecking crew in the third quarter, where he scored 16 points, dropped 4 3-pointers, and helped the Philippines tie the game at 55-all after trailing early at Basket Hall of Gelora Bung Karno sports complex.
Cramps forced Clarkson to sit out a crucial stretch in the fourth quarter, but his teammates ably picked up the slack on offense as the Philippines went on an 18-5 run to erase a 72-62 deficit and go up 80-77 with 1:23 remaining in the game.
After a split on the line by NBA center Zhou Qi, Zhao Riu forced a turnover on a steal off Stanley Pringle, leading to a fast-break basket by Zhao to tie it 80-all.
The Philippines failed take the lead back after misses by Clarkson and Christian Standhardinger.
A foul by Clarkson in China’s last possession led to Zhao making 2 free throws, while Paul Lee’s 3-pointer that back-rimmed in the dying seconds sealed China’s victory.
Clarkson added 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals to go with 5 3-pointers in a sterling showing, but his teammates deserved equal credit for the Philippines’ gallant showing against taller, lengthier China.
Standhardinger added 18 points, 8 rebounds and numerous hustle plays that didn’t appear on the stat sheet.
Pringle chipped in 14 points, while Lee had 10.
Highly regarded Houston Rockets center Zhou Qi led China with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks.
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