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    SBP cites Gilas 'aggressiveness, improved defense, heart' in loss to Lebanon

    Aug 26, 2022
    Gilas Lebanon Fiba World Cup Asian qualifier Beirut crowd
    PHOTO: fiba.basketball

    THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) congratulated Lebanon for 'winning a very close match' against Gilas on Friday morning while commending the present national team for its own "strong showing."

    The country's governing body for basketball released the statement hours after Lebanon, runner-up to Australia in the last Fiba Asia Cup, went on a late run behind star guard Wael Arajki to beat Gilas, 89-85, in the World Cup Asian qualifier.

    "Congratulations to Lebanon for winning a very close match. It was a good fight all the way," the SBP said. "We commend our Gilas team for a strong showing for the first game they played together on the international stage."

    [READ: Lebanon coach on defensive adjustment vs Clarkson]

    "They played at a higher level, displaying talent, aggressiveness, an improved defensive mindset, and a lot of heart in never giving up until the very end against one of Fiba's toughest teams," the SBP added.

    The away game marked Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson's debut as Gilas' naturalized player and the former NBA Sixth Man awardee delivered 27 points, seven assists, and six rebounds but missed his last three shots in a nip-and-tuck finish.


      As a team, the collection of PBA stars, overseas-based players and college star Carl Tamayo made 21 turnovers that proved the biggest difference in a game that was still tied entering the final two minutes.

      Still, the SBP believes this iteration of Gilas players will only get better in terms of chemistry in the months leading up to the 2023 Fiba World Cup which the country will co-host with Japan and Indonesia.


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      "The team’s chemistry and cohesiveness will only continue to improve the more they play together," said the SBP.

      "We believe our team will use this experience to compete even more fiercely come the 2023 World Cup. We remain committed to supporting and harnessing the potential of this team so we can win against the best."

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      PHOTO: fiba.basketball
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