MANILA, Philippines – Three-point shooting and control of the endgame.
It seems that the South Korean playbook in basketball has not been updated in years and yet somehow, like a broken record, the Philippines falls for it over and over again.
The same, yet again, can be said as the Korean snipers knocked the Philippines out of medal contention in the 2018 Asian Games with a 91-82 victory.
Highly-sought Filipino-American star Jordan Clarkson continued to deliver with 25 points after a 28-mark debut against China, but it still didn’t matter.
With the Filipino side up 65-64 entering the final frame, the Ricardo Ratliffe-boosted South Koreans – as expected – controlled the endgame and drained their threes.
Four of their 12 long bombs were made in the final seven minutes, which – coupled with stifling defense not seen in the first three quarters – were enough to ink another dark chapter in the Philippines’ basketball history books.
Looking back into the Rappler archives, this has been the same story with the same script, and we were all forced to watch it unravel every single time.
It’s now 2018, and save from the outlier wins from the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup and 2007 Jones Cup, it seems that we still have no permanent answer to the problem that is Korea.
Here's a lookback on how Korea has broken our hearts:
2002 Busan Asian Games: Korea 69, Philippines 68
With under a minute left, the Philippines clung to a two-point lead as Korea failed to convert on separate possessions. They had to foul Olsen Racela with less than 30 seconds left.
Racela — one of the Philippines' most dreaded shooters during that time — missed two crucial free throws, enabling Korea to set up one final time. And after a series of fakes by Lee Sang-Min, he drained the game-winning triple, leaving coach Jong Uichico's troops shocked.
Korea went on to win the title after beating China in the title match.
2009 Jones Cup: Korea 83, Philippines 80
It was a tough stint for Powerade Team Pilipinas in 2009, finishing with a 2-6 record.
Against Korea, they pulled to within 76-78 on baskets by Ranidel De Ocampo and Sonny Thoss. However, Oh Se-Keun drained the go-ahead triple to provide cushion, 81-76 and from there, the Koreans never looked back as it dealt the Philippines another loss.
2009 FIBA Asia Championship: Korea 69, Philippines 56; Korea 82, Philippines 80
Korea overpowered the Philippines in the preliminary rounds with only Cyrus Baguio's 14 points giving them the spark.
But in the match for seventh place, Powerade gave the Koreans a tough night. The Nationals actually led, 26-19, after 10 minutes before Korea fought back and sent the Philippines packing.
From an 80-all deadlock, Arwind Santos, Jared Dillinger, and James Yap all had their chances to win the game for us, but Yang Donggeun ended up with the breakaway lay-up to seal the win.
Oh Sekeun led Korea with 31 points. Another heartbreak.
2010 Guangzhou Asian Games: Korea 74, Philippines 66
The PH 5 bowed down to a tougher Korean squad sans Marcus Douthit who is yet to complete his naturalization process during that time.
Led by the evergreen Asi Taulava, who had 23 points, Smart Gilas refused to roll over, battling hard and even taking the lead in the first period.
But the Koreans were just too sharp as they limited the Philippines in the final three quarters of the match, while hitting basket after basket.
2011 Jones Cup: Korea 78, Philippines 70
Smart Gilas engaged in a shoot-out that enabled them to rally back from a dozen-point deficit in the first half. With 1-2 punch JVee Casio and Marcus Douthit, the Nationals were able to tie the game at 63-all.
But that proved to be their last stand as the East Asians stormed to a 10-0 blast to seal the win.
2011 FIBA Asia Championship: Korea 70, Philippines 68
Smart Gilas needed to win the bronze to at least qualify for the Olympics wildcard round, aside from salvaging some pride.
Insipired by their bitter defeat against Jordan in the semis, Smart Gilas went on to a roll, leading by as much as 11 on a Kelly Williams alley-oop slam.
But the gritty Koreans — who always wanted to spoil the party — went on to fight back.
Naturalized wingman Moon Tae-Jong hit the clutch trey in the final minutes of the ball game to shove Korea ahead, 67-65. Cho Sung-Min added two charities to make it a 69-66 ballgame. In the ensuing plays, Douthit and Lassiter had splits from the foul line.
JVee Casio rushed to the frontcourt in the final 6 seconds of play, firing a desperation heave that never hit the mark as he crumbled into tears. – Rappler.com