JAKARTA – Ricardo Ratliffe praised the Philippine team for a solid effort even as Korea won the tough quarterfinal match on Monday in the 18th Asian Games basketball competition at the GBK Basketball Hall.
The former PBA import showed the way for the South Korean squad with a 30-point, 14-rebound output to reach the last four.
It was a weird feeling after the win, says Ratliffe, a former teammate of several players in this Philippine team. Ratliffe was an import of the Magnolia/Star franchise in the PBA from 2016 to 2017.
“Yeah, of course,” said Ratliffe, when Filipino reporters asked if the loss was bittersweet. “When I’m not going for my team, I’m going with the Philippines. I watch all the PBA games still. I watch Gilas all the time.”
Ratliffe said he is aware that the Philippine squad was hastily-formed, and said reaching the quarterfinals and getting a shot at fifth is already a feat.
‘“For them to have a team that has only been together for only maybe one week, I think they did a very, great, great job. Because we’ve been together since January,” said Ratliffe.
“The only thing that is they are missing out is chemistry,” said Ratliffe.
It was a huge test for Korea in this tournament after getting lighter assignments in the early stage, but Ratliffe said those early wins gave them a boost ahead of the match with the Jordan Clarkson-led Philippines.
“I think we got more confidence. The first three games we played were a little bit of the lower teams but sometimes, we play to the level of our competition and we didn’t. We tried to blow everyone out.
“I only had to play in the first half because we were already up by 30. I think we did a great job of handling business that we really showed that they are the lesser teams," said Ratliffe.