Jordan Clarkson ‘upset’ as Gilas Pilipinas loses in front of record-breaking crowd

In front of a record-breaking audience of 38,115 in the FIBA World Cup opener at the Philippine Arena, Jordan Clarkson gave his all for the Philippines in their homestand against the Dominican Republic, headed by NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Despite scoring 28 points and dishing out seven assists, Gilas Pilipinas lost 87-81 to the Dominicans.

The Utah Jazz star could not contain his disappointment at being unable to give the home crowd a win after fouling out with 3:22 left on the game clock.

“It (the crowd) was amazing. Everybody came out to support. Just kind of upset we didn’t come out with the win. Some things didn’t go our way but we fought hard,” said Clarkson, who committed 8 turnovers and shot 9-of-24 from the field.

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes stated that losing in front of a home crowd that surpassed the previous high of 32,616 fans in the 1994 World Cup final between the United States and Russia was a huge letdown.

“Such a downer, a letdown that we could have pulled it out, it could have been a great gift to the record number of people who came out,” said Reyes.

Clarkson said that the Filipino dribblers fought valiantly despite the loss, and that they gave themselves an excellent chance of winning by staying in sync with the Dominicans for majority of the match.

“We played well, I think we had a chance to win. Some calls didn’t go our way. Part of the game. We’ll come back and try to get the next one,” said Clarkson.

The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year refused to dwell on the defeat, instead focusing on Gilas’ next game against Angola on the 27th at the Araneta Coliseum.

“Just keep competing like we did in there. Just fight hard. Like I said, some things didn’t go our way toward the end. We just got to finish well and move on to the next one.”

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