Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Italy’s fundamental man Simone Fontecchio within the Fiba World Cup. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.internet

MANILA, Philippines — Utah Jazz teammates Jordan Clarkson and Simone Fontecchio shared mutual respect after Italy earned a vital 90-83 victory to advance to the following spherical and remove Gilas Pilipinas within the Fiba World Cup 2023 on Tuesday at Sensible Araneta Coliseum.

The Jazz pair hugged one another out earlier than the beginning of the sport and after the ultimate whistle following their matchup on the world stage in entrance of near 12,000 followers at Araneta Coliseum.

Clarkson, the Filipino-American guard, scored 23 factors on 8-of-20 taking pictures from the sector and had seven rebounds and 6 assists whereas Fontecchio posted 18 factors and 6 rebounds because the Azzurri joined Group A pacesetter and unbeaten Dominican Republic within the second spherical.

Clarkson heaped reward on Fontecchio, who has but to actually get into his groove offensively because the event started.

“Simone is a extremely good participant. He’s been tremendous cool, getting to satisfy him and stuff final 12 months and taking part in on the identical crew and understanding what he does. He can shoot the ball very well, he’s robust, he’s huge. I’m glad to see him succeeding in these video games and having robust performances,” Clarkson stated. “Italy is fortunate to have Simone. Such an important dude and an important competitor.”

Gilas Pilipinas guard Jordan Clarkson in opposition to Italy within the Fiba World Cup. -MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.internet

Coming off a EuroLeague stint with Spanish membership Saski Baskonia, Fontecchio signed a two-year contract with the Jazz final season the place he appeared in 52 video games and averaged 6.3 factors and 1.7 rebounds in almost quarter-hour per recreation.

The 6-foot-7 ahead additionally expressed his respect to Clarkson, the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the Yr, saying the Philippines is fortunate to have him as its naturalized participant.

“Yeah, it was nice, it was nice. He’s a hell of a participant, performed his coronary heart out the entire recreation. The entire three video games I noticed him, he was unbelievable. You guys are actually fortunate to have him,” stated Fontecchio of Clarkson, who averaged 24.0 factors, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds within the group part.

The 27-year-old Fontecchio, who’s averaging 16.7 factors by means of three video games however is taking pictures simply 20 % from lengthy vary, additionally lauded the trouble of the Filipinos, who didn’t quit till the ultimate buzzer.

“It’s a tricky crew, a tricky recreation. We had our greatest and we obtained the win. That’s an important factor. We performed the correct manner, we performed repeatedly the correct manner the entire recreation, besides possibly the final three minutes the place they performed very well,” Fontecchio stated. “They didn’t quit. We obtained to be targeted all 40 minutes as a result of now we have now some breaks and it’s not simple after.”

Clarkson and Fontecchio are usually not the one Jazz gamers as final season’s breakout star Lauri Markkanen performs for Finland, which ended up winless in three video games in Group E in Okinawa. Walker Kessler of Staff USA and Kelly Olynyk of Canada are additionally within the World Cup. The US is at the moment main Group C whereas Canada is on high of Group H.

“Hopefully, when all of us get collectively in Utah. Me, Lauri, and everyone taking part in, we are able to string collectively a powerful season,” stated Clarkson.

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