The 2023 FIBA World Cup has been a challenging tournament for Gilas Pilipinas, but the team’s determination remains unbroken. After a series of defeats in the First Round, the Philippines lost to Italy in their final group stage game, dashing their hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.
Despite the disappointment, Gilas Pilipinas star Jordan Clarkson has expressed his unwavering faith in the team. He has also spoken out against the Filipino crowd’s booing of head coach Chot Reyes before the Italy match.
“I think it’s a little weird, especially us hosting and us being the home country,” Clarkson said. “I really don’t know much about the situation, but I guess, yeah, it’s a little weird especially with us hosting and us being the home country.”
Clarkson stressed the importance of the crowd’s support, especially when the team is down. He said that the booing was “out of the ordinary” and that it was “weird” that it happened in a game that the Philippines was hosting.
Despite the challenges, Clarkson and his teammates are determined to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The Philippines is one of the top-performing Asian teams in the tournament, and they will be looking to secure the lone ticket to the Olympics.
“We’re going to keep fighting because the remaining two games are still very important,” Clarkson said. “We know what it means, and we know what it means for the country. We’re going to leave it all out on the floor.”
Gilas Pilipinas will play their final two games of the FIBA World Cup on September 3 and 4 against Serbia and the Dominican Republic. The Philippines will need to win both games to have a chance of qualifying for the Olympics.
The team’s journey to the Olympics will be a difficult one, but Clarkson and his teammates are determined to make it happen. They have shown their resilience throughout the FIBA World Cup, and they will need to continue to fight if they want to achieve their goal.