22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
6 Jordan Clarkson (PHI)
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Breaking down Jordan Clarkson's post-game banter with Lebanon and FIBA debut

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - The Philippines didn’t get the result that they desired when they lost to Lebanon to start Window 4. All things considered, however, it wasn’t an entirely negative trip to Beirut for Gilas.

In particular, one of the brightest spots for Philippines basketball in this game was to finally see Jordan Clarkson in action in his first FIBA competition for the national team. The former Sixth Man of the Year in the NBA was as spectacular as expected, even if he and the team fell just short of a victory.

Post-game banter

Aside from the Philippines basketball fans, those on Lebanon’s side - both fans and players - were entertained by the experience of going up against Clarkson.

"Come on man, @jordanclarksons. You didn’t even let me enjoy my 3’s haha . Great player and a humble guy" read the text in the Instagram story of Ali Haidar who shared the highlight of his and Clarkson’s back-to-back three-pointers to end the first half.


"Respect bro! Way to hoop 🙏🔥" was the caption in the Instagram story of Ali Mansour who shared duties of going up against Clarkson in this game as well.

"Always an honor competing against one of the best" said Wael Arakji in his Instagram Story post, coupled with a picture of the two stars embracing after a hard fought game.

What made the post-game reaction from Lebanon’s stars even better was the response from Clarkson in a light-hearted tone.

"🙏 haha great game!! Thank you guys for hosting us" Clarkson said in response to Haidar.

"respect, way to play! 🙏" was Clarkson’s response to Mansour.

"much respect brother!!!! loved competing against u bro!! 🙏❤️" said Clarkson in reponse to Arakji.

The icing on the cake was Clarkson’s post-game tweet in appreciation of the experience and also building up the next encounter between both teams.


Breaking it down

Coming back to the on-court action, head coach Chot Reyes and Jordan Clarkson both pointed out Gilas’ struggles in handling the ball where they had 21 turnovers. Clarkson himself admitted that he "missed some shots towards the end of the game that I feel like I usually make".

But again, this was still a positive debut for the superstar.

The 30-year-old guard had 27 points. While he only shot 6-17 from the field to get to that total, the variety of ways he was able to get those points was promising.

For his first two field goals, Clarkson went to the post on both sides of the floor. With his slight size advantage and with Lebanon being wary of how he would attack, Clarkson was able to get enough space to knock down some midrange shots.


Another aspect of the game that Clarkson did well in this game was to use his handles and speed to attack the basket. While he only scored two baskets penetrating towards the hoop, there were many other occasions where he got fouled which resulted in 16 free-throw attempts that he converted to 13 points.


Last, but not least, Clarkson’s biggest impact on this game might have been his playmaking. Aside from the just the raw number of 7 assists, it was clear to see that Clarkson connected well with his teammates especially with a target as big as Kai Sotto. He was quick to make decisions to pass to the open man as you would expect from a player of his experience and it resulted in some wide open buckets for Gilas.


Again, this was obviously not a "perfect" FIBA debut for Clarkson with Gilas with it not being a win. Still, there should plenty of optimism as the Philippines builds around this first game into the future, specifically for the World Cup to be played in their home next year.

For now, it's onto the next one for Clarkson and the Philippines.