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Jordan Clarkson talks about the Ateneo-La Salle Filoil match
by rick olivares
Basketball star Jordan Clarkson was in the audience for the Ateneo-La Salle match in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup last Sunday, May 29 at the San Juan Arena. In town for a promotional tour for Nike, took some time off his busy schedule to take in a college basketball game, even if only for one half.
He was supposed to take part in the ceremonial jump ball but because of the traffic in the surrounding area, he arrived shortly after tip off.
The match between Ateneo and La Salle, the country’s two biggest sports rivals, was rather one-sided as the latter blew away the former, 98-66. However, Rappler got to talk to Clarkson about his thoughts on the game.
On the rivalry between the two squads:
Clarkson was excited to hear that when the two teams meet during the UAAP season, they play to crowds from 15,000 and up. “You say it is more intense than a PBA game? That should be interesting to watch. Those big crowds. The drums and cheers are crazy."
On La Salle’s Ben Mbala:
After a Ben Mbala dunk, Clarkson raised his eyebrows and went, “Ooooohhhh! Throw it down! The boy’s got hops.”
Following another Mbala flush, a putback, Clarkson marveled, “That man (Mbala) is a one-man gang! He’s gonna fill the highlight reel.”
The Green Archers’ center finished with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
On the match’s physicality and intensity:
As much as Mbala's dunks were riveting, the 23-year old guard of the Los Angeles Lakers looked for other things such as the battle in the post between Ateneo’s Vince Tolentino and La Salle’s Abu Tratter who were pushing, shoving, and elbowing one another. “The real battle is in the post. It’s getting very physical out there.”
On Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena:
“He’s got guts.”
When told that Blue Eagles’ point guard Shaggy Allmond bears an resemblance to him:
Clarkson laughed. And when Allmond buried a triple that was all net, he went, “Oh, yeah, Allmond! Book it!”
On Tab Baldwin on Ateneo’s coaching staff:
“You know he is going to make that team (the Blue Eagles) better."
Of all the players on the floor, clearly, Clarkson was impressed with La Salle’s Mbala.
Clarkson will return to Manila in August. Hopefully, he said, he could catch the UAAP edition of the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry.