Gilas falls short vs Dominicans in FIBA World Cup opener
Gilas falls short vs Dominicans in FIBA World Cup opener
Gilas falls short vs Dominicans in FIBA World Cup opener
by Mhillen Nicole Borja26 August 2023
DZRH File photo

In a gripping start to their FIBA World Cup 2023 journey, Gilas Pilipinas put up a valiant effort but ultimately faced defeat against the Dominican Republic.

At the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the scoreboard reflected an 87-81 loss for Gilas Pilipinas against the Dominican Republic in an intense clash on Friday.

Leading the charge for the Philippines, Jordan Clarkson showcased his skills with a standout performance, contributing 28 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.


However, the game took an unexpected turn when he fouled out with a little over three minutes remaining in the final quarter.

Throughout the matchup, the Philippine team exhibited resilience, engaging in a back-and-forth battle against the Dominican Republic. The match remained closely contested for the majority of the game.

Kiefer Ravena and Jordan Clarkson orchestrated a pivotal 8-0 run, giving Gilas Pilipinas a slim 31-29 advantage. Despite the Dominicans occasionally reclaiming the lead, the Filipino squad consistently fought back.

In the closing moments of the second quarter, an emphatic two-handed dunk by Abando leveled the score at 42-all, following a missed halfcourt attempt by Clarkson.


As the game progressed, the Dominicans managed to seize control in the third quarter, leading by a narrow margin of 66-64. This advantage was maintained through the final period, with Karl-Anthony Towns and Jean Montero leading the Dominican Republic's charge.

The fourth quarter presented challenges for Gilas Pilipinas, compounded by errors as they attempted to rally back. With Jordan Clarkson sidelined due to fouls, the team faced an uphill battle.

Despite spirited efforts from Fajardo and AJ Edu, Gilas Pilipinas was unable to bridge the gap. Karl-Anthony Towns continued his aggressive play, securing fouls and crucial points for the Dominican Republic.

As expected, Towns led the Dominican Republic's effort with a dominating double-double, amassing 26 points and 10 rebounds. Veteran Victor Liz provided significant support, chipping in with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.


Looking forward, Gilas Pilipinas remains determined to rebound in their next matchup, scheduled against Angola on Sunday evening.

FIBA World Cup opening

Meanwhile, the 2023 FIBA World Cup kicked off with a colorful start, featuring basketball legends and fresh faces on display.

Among the spectators were President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., outgoing FIBA President Hamane Niang, and Manny V. Pangilinan, SBP Chairman Emeritus, witnessing the Gilas Pilipinas match against the Dominican Republic.


Front row seats were also occupied by key figures like SBP President Al Panlilio, Vice President Ricky Vargas, and others from the basketball community.

Basketball icon Dirk Nowitzki, a Hall of Famer and FIBA Global Ambassador, added to the star power, and former national team players LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier were part of the event.

The opening ceremony featured performances by Sarah Geronimo, The Dawn, and Ben&Ben, setting an electric tone for the tournament.

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