S.Korea overcome Clarkson challenge to enter basketball semis

Defending champions South Korea overcame NBA star Jordan Clarkson's Philippines in a hard-fought Asian Games basketball match in Jakarta on Monday.

US-born Ricardo Preston Ratliffe scored 30 points for South Korea as they won the quarter-finals encounter 91-82 to guarantee at least a bronze in 5x5 basketball.

Victory meant the South Korean basketball team kept up their supremacy in the regional Olympics over the Philippines, who last won against the Asian giants in the 1962 edition.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Clarkson -- who joined his national side late after the US league released him in a last-minute U-turn -- scored 25 points to keep the Philippines fighting, but South Korea took the game away in the final quarter.

Ratliffe told reporters South Korea had executed their game plan well despite Clarkson's best efforts.

"I think he (Clarkson) did a great job especially in the first half. He did what he does best. He also came strong in the second half," Ratliffe said of his former teammate from their University of Missouri days.

However Ratliffe sympathised with the Philippines who put a team together for the Asian Games at the last minute after 10 of their players were suspended in an on-court brawl during a World Cup qualifier.

"I think it has do a lot with the chemistry, they are a new team. They just got together a week before the games, so I think they did a great job," said Ratliffe.

"Had they got chemistry and stayed with the team, I think they would have done very very well."

South Korea will play their semi-final on Thursday against Iran, who beat Japan 93-67.

Philippines coach Yeng Guiao said that he could not have asked anything more from his team, also singling out Clarkson for praise.

"He was making his best effort to help the team. It's just as it is a new environment for us," said Guiao.

"Korea just played better today. They got their rhythm with the big point shots in the last quarter. Before that we were playing decent against them," he added.

South Korea took an early lead but the Philippines played catch up at the start of the second quarter.

The Philippines led until the third quarter at 65-64, before South Korea completely outplayed the Filipinos in the final minutes.