Gilas Pilipinas head coach Vincent Reyes was booed in his home country before a FIBA game and Jordan Clarkson has responded to the actions of the fans.
Boos could be heard throughout the Araneta Coliseum before the Philippines match against Italy and were seemingly aimed at the head coach.
The team still had a chance to advance to the second round of the tournament and needed the support of their home fans, so Clarkson admitted it was quite a strange experience.
“I’m not around the situation to figure out what it’s for or whatever as much,” Clarkson told Basket News. “But yeah, I guess it is a little weird with us hosting and us being the host country.
“Like you said, it does, at that point, feel a little weird. Kind of just out of the ordinary, honestly.”
Unfortunately for the host country, they lost their third game 83-90 against Italy, so won’t progress any further in this tournament.
But, they still have a chance to claim the place in the 2024 Olympics for the best-placed Asian team in the World Cup, so their two remaining games are of big importance, Clarkson affirmed.
“We’re super motivated,” Clarkson said. “From the beginning, we’ve been motivated. Our team is strong, we fight, we aren’t giving up throughout the whole game. Basketball is a game of missed shots and, you know, ups and dows. What happens is we string together runs, and we go out and compete until the end of the horn.
“We haven’t really felt like we’ve been out of the games. And we’re fighting. We’re strong mentally. We’re going to try and put it together and try and get these two. We know what it means, and we know what it means for the country. We’re going to leave it all out on the floor.”
The shining light for The Philippines though was certainly Clarkson, as he was their top scorer once more after finishing the night with 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
He also set a World Cup record by becoming the first player to combine for more than 20 points and more than five assists in his first three games in the FIBA World Cup.