Gilas drubs 8-man Japan, eyes 5th place in 2018 Asian Games
JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Philippine men's basketball team overwhelmed a depleted Japan side, 113-80, to stay on track of its bid for a fifth-place finish in the 2018 Asian Games at the GBK-Basket Hall on Tuesday, August 28.
Jordan Clarkson dropped 22 points as the Filiipino-American NBA player won his first game with Gilas Pilipinas.
Christian Standhardinger topscored with 27 points and Paul Lee added 17 for the Philippines, which was relegated to the classification round after losing to arch nemesis South Korea in the quarterfinal.
Japan has been playing with just an eight-man crew in the tournament following a prostitution scandal where four of its players – Yuya Nagayoshi, Takuya Hashimoto, Takuma Sato and Keita Imamura – were sent home last week after getting spotted in a red light district wearing their team jersey.
The Philippines will go up next against the winner between Syria and Indonesia for a shot at fifth place – a better ranking than its worst finish at seventh in the 2014 edition in Incheon.
“We are assured of sixth place,” said national team coach Yeng Guiao. "We want to finish our campaign here [with a win], even if we don't have a medal."
After a tight opening minutes, 39-38, Gilas closed out the first half with an 18-9 outburst, capped by a Raymond Almazan tip-in off a tough Clarkson shot, to erect a double-digit lead 57-47.
Clarkson, who also scored his first victory since the 2018 Eastern Conference NBA finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers, paced the Nationals in the first half with 14 points.
The Nationals never let up in the second half, opening with an 11-0 run to build a 21-point cushion, 68-47, highlighted by Standhardinger’s fake and and-1 play.
The Japanese failed to find their rhythm as they only scored their first 3rd quarter point at the 5:54 mark.
Heading into the final two minutes, the Filipinos held a comfortable 25-point advantage, 105-80.
Philippines 113 – Standhardinger 27, Clarkson 22, Lee 17, Pringle 9, Belga 7, Almazan 6, Taulava 6, Norwood 5, Ahanmisi 5, Tiu 5, Erram 4.
Japan 80 – Nakamura 16, Kumagae 15, Vendrame 11, Shaefer 11, Ota 10, Harimoto 10, Tsuji 5, Tamaki 2.
Quarters: 27-27, 57-47, 82-64, 113-80.