JAKARTA—Relegated to a target that was way below the original aim, Gilas Pilipinas still played its heart out Tuesday night and gave Team Philippines something to cheer about in another unproductive day in the 18th Asian Games.
Jordan Clarkson didn’t hold anything back, and so did the rest of the Filipinos as they dismantled undermanned Japan with clinical precision in the second half at Gelaro Bung Karno Hall here for a 113-80 victory to advance to the battle for fifth place in the basketball competition and seal an improved Philippine finish.
Clarkson played all but seven minutes and finished with 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds as he finally led Gilas to a win after close losses to regional forces China and South Korea that took the Filipinos out of the medal race.
He was in a better mood after the game, shaking hands—but still refusing to talk—with reporters after the match that was close until the final three minutes of the second quarter.
“We’re just trying to salvage the best finish we can,” head coach Yeng Guiao told Filipino scribes, with the team to finish in sixth spot at worst, a rung better than what a better-prepared Gilas ended up in four years ago in Incheon, South Korea.
“We’re going to try to finish on a winning note, and I think that will be a good going-away present for Jordan,” Guiao added as Gilas plays the winner of the Syria-Indonesia match that is going on at press time.
That match is slated Friday at a bigger venue, the Istora Senayan Coliseum.
Christian Standhardinger had his way inside the paint and finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds, and Paul Lee was a perfect 3-for-3 from triple territory and wound up with 17.
Japan, which was without four players its basketball federation sent home last week after being seen partying with women in the wee hours of the morning, got 16 points from Taichi Nakamura and twin digits from five others.
The Nationals came out of the halftime break with all guns cocked and firing, scoring the first 11 points of the third quarter to take a 68-47 lead that was enough to deflate the spirits of the game Japanese.
Boxing got its first medal courtesy of Rogen Ladon—a sure bronze—as the seasoned flyweight scored a 3-2 victory over Azat Mahmetov over at Jakarta International Expo’s Hall B to advance to the Final Four of his division.
He next faces Thailand’s Yuttapong Tongdee on Wednesday. The Thai also scored a split decision win over Gan-Erdene Gankhuyag of Mongolia.
The women’s jumping team in equestrian failed to make the finals, though Antonette Leviste and Joker Arroyo, aboard Maximillan and Ubama Alia, respectively, moved on to Qualifier 2 of the women’s individual jumping event.
Rhythmic gymnasts Marianne Nicolle Medina and Shiedannah Sabio had a really bad day over at JIE’s Hall D, with Medina finishing dead last in a 23-strong field in the individual all-around and Sabio failing to finish the event.
Knott, who failed to make the finals of her favorite 100 meters on Monday night, ran her season-best in the qualifying of the 200 meters Tuesday morning to easily make the semifinals. She clocked 23.45 in Heat 2 to be sixth overall.
Trenten Anthony Beram also made the men’s side of the same race without a hitch, advancing to the semifinals with the ninth best time, 21.14.