FIBA World Cup 2023: How did Gilas Pilipinas lose to Dominican Republic?

Why did Philippines lose to Dominican Republic, FIBA WC 2023

The Philippines suited up against the Dominican Republic in their first matchup for the FIBA World Cup 2023 group stage. Led by Jordan Clarkson, the Philippines’ National Team or the so-called Gilas Pilipinas managed to go up against Dominicana featuring NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns. The international battle was pretty close as Gilas kept pushing throughout the game. Unfortunately, the Dominican Republic would come out with the win, 87-81. Filipino fans were devasted at how close the team was to winning their first game of the tournament, putting some security in their Olympic dreams. But, how did the Philippines lose to the Dominican Republic? Those who have seen the game would say Gilas Pilipinas played a great game. However, there could be plausible reasons why the nationals fell short against a higher-ranked squad.


Coach Chot Reyes draws plays mostly for Jordan Clarkson throughout the match. Of course, they would need the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year to work his magic on the court with his scoring finesse. However, the Dominican Republic’s defense was not a joke. With lockdown pressure, the North American team forced Gilas to commit 19 turnovers, and turning 26 points from those mistakes. Oftentimes, Clarkson would make errors by getting the ball stolen, making 8 turnovers to be exact.

The absence of a go-to guy after Clarkson fouls out late in the 4th

Gilas Pilipinas gave Dominicana a run for their money from the first through the third quarter. However, at the final moments of the game, the nationals were already trailing the Dominican Republic. Clarkson fouling out even made the situation worse. What made us wonder is why Chot Reyes did not put a go-to guy after JC was forced to sit.

CJ Perez, known to be a very reliable scoring guard, could have been that guy. Unfortunately, the San Miguel Beermen star did not even play a single minute. At this point, June Mar Fajardo and Dwight Ramos are probably gassed. Rotation issues also come into question as the coaching staff seemed to not utilize Kiefer Ravena – who played well in the first half – as the main playmaker.

Karl-Anthony Towns proves why he is an NBA superstar

The twin towers of Gilas, AJ Edu and June Mar Fajardo, did everything they could to stop Karl-Anthony Towns. But, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ star big man still managed to put up a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Positive takeaways

Despite the heartbreaking loss, Gilas Pilipinas put an impressive display of passion, heart, and dedication. Jordan Clarkson tallied 28 points while June Mar Fajardo and Dwight Ramos had 16 and 13 points, respectively. Many viewers were amazed to see the No. 41 Philippines holding their own against the No. 23 Dominican Republic. Although they lost a close game, this is a perfect learning experience for Gilas Pilipinas moving forward. The Philippines will be facing No.43 Angola on August 27. On August 29, Gilas will be going against their biggest opponent yet, the No.10 Italy.

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