FIBA World Cup

Jordan Clarkson lauds Kai Sotto: ‘Happy to see him continue to grow’

Delfin Dioquino
Jordan Clarkson lauds Kai Sotto: ‘Happy to see him continue to grow’

BACK IN TOWN. Kai Sotto posts solid numbers in his first Gilas Pilipinas appearance in more than a year.

FIBA

Despite teaming up in an official game for the first time, Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto look comfortable with each other on the court for Gilas Pilipinas

MANILA, Philippines – The Jordan Clarkson-Kai Sotto combination exudes promise for Gilas Pilipinas.

Clarkson lauded Sotto for his notable improvement as they led the way for the Philippines in a sorry 85-81 defeat to Lebanon in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Thursday, August 25 (Friday, August 26, Manila time).

Although teaming up in an official game for the first time, Clarkson and Sotto looked comfortable with each other on the court and linked up for a couple of highlight plays.

In one of the best plays of the game, the Utah Jazz standout launched a full court pass that resulted in the 7-foot-3 big man slamming home a thunderous two-handed dunk in the second quarter.

“Kai [has] been great,” Clarkson wrote on Twitter. “Happy to see him continue to grow.”

Clarkson lived up to his billing as a bona fide NBA star, churning out a game-high 27 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds in his FIBA debut as Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized player.

Meanwhile, Sotto put up solid numbers of 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in his first game with the national team in more than a year.

Both of their steady performances, though, went for naught as Lebanon banked on Wael Arakji in the endgame to pull off the comeback win that saw the Cedars storm back from a 10-point deficit.

Still, Clarkson held his head high.

“Proud [of] the way we fought! We came up short! Stay safe all love, until next time!” Clarkson wrote.

Gilas Pilipinas eyes to end the fourth window on a winning note as it hosts Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday, August 29. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.