Jordan Clarkson heaps praise on Sotto, Ramos

NBA star Jordan Clarkson is sticking to the bright side of the loss against Lebanon and that includes the stellar performances from Dwight Ramos and Kai Sotto.

Photo from Fiba

The Utah Jazz star heaped praises for the two after they provided solid support to his 27-point showing which went for naught as Gilas came up short against Lebanon, 85-81, behind a splendid game from FIBA Asia Cup best player Wael Arakji.

Clarkson also finished with seven assists and six rebounds but reserved good words for his young teammates as Ramos finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Sotto held his own with 10 points and eight boards.

“For us, it’s bright that we’re just getting this team together. We got some good young stars with the team. Dwight played really well tonight, Kai played well. I think all around it was a really good effort. We had the chance to win the game,” said Clarkson.

Indeed, there were some flashes of great chemistry between the trio capped by a 6-0 spurt in the final frame that gave Gilas a 74-71 lead. Clarkson first found Sotto in transition on an alley-oop play which ended in an emphatic slam before the veteran guard issued a great pass to Ramos for an open right pocket three-pointer.

“I think we did a good job at competing . Coach prepared us really well, trying to scout this team out and we had a great plan coming in. I think like he said, with all the turnovers, missed shots, stuff like that, it was hard to win with 20 plus turnovers with a game like this with the crowd behind them,” he added.

Clarkson, though, also owned up to his mistakes as well, noting that he also had some crucial misses in the endgame that could have buoyed Gilas during the telling blows from Arakji.

“I missed some shots towards the end of the game that I feel I used to make as well so just a tough one tonight. We just gotta take it to the head and get back to the drawing board. We’re going back to Manila. We got Saudi Arabia in so we got to be prepared,” he added.