Gilas Pilipinas swingman Jordan Clarkson couldn’t wait to avenge their sorry 81-85 loss to Lebanon when they battle Saudi Arabia in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Clarkson remains defiant, saying that they just need minor tweaks and few days of preparation before they could avenge their setback to the Lebanese early Friday at the at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut.
The Utah Jazz star, who came in as a naturalized player, actually had a chance to lift the Filipinos to the crucial victory, but he missed a pair of free throws and a three-pointer in the crucial stretch.
“For us, it’s bright. We’re just getting this team together,” said Clarkson, who registered a game-high 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 37 minutes of action.
“I missed some shots towards the end of the game, I feel like I should be doing (those) as well.”
“Just a tough one tonight.”
Clarkson knows that they cannot afford to sulk into misery knowing that it will be an important game at home.
In fact, it will be his first time to play in the Philippines since reinforcing Gilas in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018.
More importantly, Clarkson believes that Gilas already got their key pieces with Dwight Ramos and Kai Sotto conniving to form a deadly one-two punch that made life difficult for the Lebanese.
“We got some good young stars on the team. Dwight played well tonight as well, Kai played well, really all around,” said Clarkson, who expects a capacity crowd at the 15,000-seater Pasay venue.
“Great game by Lebanon, we came up short. Proud (with) the way we fought, see you all in Manila,” he also said in a social media post.