The success of the Philippine Gilas Pilipinas squad in the classification round of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which will begin on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, will be the deciding factor in whether or not they are able to secure the only Asian spot for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Gilas Pilipinas will face the risky South Sudan on Thursday at 8 p.m. and China on Saturday, September 2nd. Both games will take place in China.
After defeats at the hands of the Dominican Republic, Angola, and Italy during their three-game assignment in the group stage, the Philippines were moved down to the classification phase.
On the other hand, South Sudan was eliminated from the competition after losing its final game in Group B to the powerhouse Serbia by a score of 115-83 on Wednesday night. China, meanwhile, finished the group stage without a victory after losing to Puerto Rico by a score of 107-89.
South Sudan finished second in Group B with a record of 1-2, while China finished last with a history of 0-3. Both foreign teams joined Angola and the Philippines in the classification phase of the competition.
The games are still very important for the Philippines, as the country is still trying to earn a spot in the Olympics. However, to do so, the Philippines must win their upcoming matches against South Sudan and China.
This will also be just the second time that Clarkson will compete against China, who will now be represented by naturalized player Kyle Anderson (Li Kaier) of the Minnesota Timberwolves and 7-foot-1 monster Zhou Qui.
Clarkson first appeared with the Gilas during the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2018. The national team competed against China and lost by a score of 82-80.