Thu, Aug 23, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Philippines coach slams ref choice in China match


The Philippines’ Jordan Clarkson, center left, shoots over China’s Zhou Qi in their men’s preliminary Group D match at the Asian Games in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

The Philippines’ basketball coach yesterday said a referee from a “Chinese territory” should not have officiated his side’s narrow loss to China at the Asian Games, querying the number of fouls his side was awarded.

The Philippines, bolstered by NBA star Jordan Clarkson, were pipped 82-80 in Tuesday’s thrilling match after China scored two free throws awarded by the Hong Kong referee with just 13 seconds left.

“They let a Hong Kong referee, which is also Chinese territory, referee against us,” Yeng Guiao said. “And they gave them 39 free throws and they gave us only 15, no?”

“So I thought somebody from Hong Kong, which is controlled by China, should not referee a China game,” Guaio told ABS-CBN, referring to chief official Yuen Chun Yip.

The loss leaves the Philippines relying on results elsewhere in their group to progress.

The Philippines are no strangers to controversy and almost did not attend the tournament after having 10 players and two coaches suspended by the International Basketball Federation following an on-court brawl in a World Cup qualifier against Australia.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Clarkson only joined the team last week, after the NBA released him to play in the event.

Clarkson was top scorer in the match with 28 points, but was sidelined with cramp during the final quarter before returning to give away the two vital free throws that ultimately handed China victory.

“Jordan Clarkson cramped, so we had to put him on the bench for several minutes,” Guiao said. “He was really in pain. He was not 100 percent when he got back.”

The Philippines had clawed their way back from 72-62 down to lead 77-80 with just more than one minute to go, before letting the win slip out of their hands.

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