Guiao: Gilas much better with Jordan Clarkson
JAKARTA, Indonesia – In his Gilas Pilipinas debut against China in the 2018 Asian Games, it didn't even look like Jordan Clarkson only had 5 days of practice with the team.
"We're much better with Jordan Clarkson," said head coach Yeng Guiao.
"The mere fact that he only arrived about four, five days ago and we tried to jell him in and fit him into the system speaks a lot about his intelligence. He was able to just flow, get into the flow and find scoring opportunities and create situations for his teammates."
To no one's surprise, Clarkson led the team with 28 points off 5 triples to go with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
The Cleveland Cavaliers guard shone the brightest in the 3rd quarter when he shot the lights out with three straight triples which eventually tied the score at 55-all.
When Gilas took the lead in the last two minutes of the game, Clarkson fell short of helping the team ice the game due to leg cramps. But his impact encouraged the whole team to step up, especially Stanley Pringle.
"Even without him we had a chance to win the game with the last shot, but those are the breaks of the game. The effort is really good, and I give credit to the boys. To me, this is like a won game," added Guiao.
Gilas center Poy Erram also admitted that he felt the impact Clarkson has on the team – but the way the team responded surprised him.
"We are way better, because you have a guy like Jordan Clarkson, NBA veteran, NBA talent. We have a sure-ball, two-points, three-points guy," said Erram.
"Hindi namin inexpect na ganoon ang ilalaro namin, lalo na China 'yung kalaban, sobrang laki at saka mabibilis. Sobrang thankful kami kahit papaano na dikit 'yung laban."
(We didn't expect that we would play like that especially against China, whose players are all tall and fast. We're really thankful nontheless because it was a close game.)
Filipinos will get to see more of Clarkson in the coming days as the Philippines advanced to the quarterfinals after finishing behind unbeaten China in the group at 1-1. – Rappler.com