Jordan Clarkson, the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the Year and the star of the Philippine national basketball team, got emotional after losing his first game at the FIBA World Cup 2023 against Karl-Anthony Towns’ Dominican Republic. The Philippines lost a tightly contested game 87-81 with Clarkson scoring 28 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the way for the Dominican Republic with 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Dominican Republic edged out the Philippines. The game was tightly fought from start to finish. After going down 22-18 in the opening quarter, the hosts were able to bounce back, tying things at 42-42 at half-time.
The lead changed hands multiple times in the second half, but the Dominicans took control with six minutes to go and won the game. Clarkson looked very emotional after the games, as the video of him rubbing his hands on his face went viral on social media. Losing in front of his home fans must have been tough for the Utah Jazz star.
A new FIBA Basketball World Cup record was set in this game, as this matchup became the most attended FIBA World Cup game in history as it brought 38,115 fans to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue. The attendance broke the previous record set in the 1994 FIBA World Cup Final between Team USA and Russia, which saw 32,616 fans at the Skydome in Toronto.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shows his dominance in 2023 FIBA World Cup against France
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander starred as Canada started their 2023 FIBA World Cup campaign with a 95-65 blowout win over reigning Olympic silver medalists France in Group H. Alexander finished the game with 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting, 13 rebounds, and six assists in 27 minutes and also went 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.
The Oklahoma City Thunder star became the first player in FIBA history to have at least 20 points, five assists, and five rebounds in their World Cup debut. The game looked close in the first half as Canada managed to take a three-point lead with the score reading 43-40. The NBA All-Star took the game into his own hands as Canada outscored France 25-8 in the period.
Before today’s match, Canada had won just one of their 11 World Cup games in the preliminary round this century and were winless in their last 21 World Cup games against European sides. Canada will next face Lebanon on Sunday, August 27, while France will take on Latvia later on the same day.