Jordan Clarkson braces for ‘different’ China in Fiba World Cup classification
MANILA, Philippines-Gilas Pilipinas’ loss to Italy in the Fiba World Cup Group A play Tuesday night has put cohost Philippines on a collision course with an old tormentor in China.
The last two nations met in the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesia with Jordan Clarkson anchoring a Gilas Pilipinas crew replete with PBA stars and coached by the fiery Yeng Guiao.
“What was that, two, three years ago? Oh, that was five years ago? I’m getting old,” a chuckling Clarkson said of the matchup, which will be finalized after Wednesday’s Group B contests.
Gilas lost to China, 82-80, in that thrilling encounter in Jakarta, with Clarkson’s 28 points going for naught.
The Utah Jazz guard could gain some measure of payback when the two sides tangle once again, but Clarkson noted that China is an entirely different team this time.
Save for former Houston Rockets center Zhou Qi, Zhao Rui, Wang Zhenlin, China indeed is going into the rematch with a new cast.
“The team that I played with is different. (China’s) gonna be a different team. They’re… going to have a Kyle Anderson, another NBA guy,” Clarkson said.
Gilas will be taking on China armed with size—something it didn’t have in its previous meetings. June Mar Fajardo and AJ Edu have been especially solid in these past three games and should give Clarkson help as soon as the clash at Smart Araneta Coliseum tips off.
“We just got to lock in, watch the film, figure out what they do,” said Clarkson. “And get back to the drawing board then get a win, that’s it.”
While the Philippines has crashed out of contention for the World Cup, it remains in play for the lone continental ticket for the Paris Olympic Games. The best performing Asian team by the end of the global showcase will be awarded passage into the global showcase set in the glitzy French capital.
As things stand, only Japan has notched a victory in this World Cup, following its stunning upset of Finland last Sunday.