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‘Stop Clarkson’

Korean coach Hur Jae bares gameplan

By NICK GIONGCO

JAKARTA – Contain Jordan Clark­son and Korea should practically have no problems pulling the plug on the Philippines’ bid to advance to the semifinals of the Asian Games basketball competitions.

Hur Jae, who calls the shots for the sweet-shooting Koreans, told a handful of Manila-based scribes that it is the 6-5 Clarkson, a main guy on the Cleveland Cavaliers rotation, that concerns them the most in the game set Monday at 10 am.

The winner advances to the semi­finals where it will likely square off with the Hamad Haddadi-spiked Iran.

“He (Clarkson) is highly-talented,” said Hur Jae, who starred for Korea in two Olympic Games.

Clarkson showed everyone the huge difference between an legit NBA starter and a benchwarmer by banging in a game-high points dur­ing the Philippines’ 82-80 loss to China last week.

While NBA players Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuhang likewise showed what they’ve got, their exploits were not as glowing as that of Clarkson, who almost scored at will by toying with every guard thrown to defend him.

“We must stick to our gameplan in order to guard him (Clarkson),” said Hur Jae, now 53, and best re­membered as a player who epito­mizes the Korea’s trademark out­side shooting that stretches back to the time of Shin Dong Pa in the 1960s and Lee Chung-hee in the 1980s.

While focus is on Clarkson, Hur Jae insists the entire Philippine squad “competes extremely hard” and is likewise upbeat that Ricardo Ratliffe, the first naturalized player with no Korean lineage, “has many weapons to help us out.”

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