Clarkson still 'on the table' for Gilas in World Cup, assures SBP exec

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2022 02:36 PM

Jordan Clarkson competed for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games. File photo.
Jordan Clarkson competed for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games. File photo.

MANILA – The possibility of Jordan Clarkson suiting up for the Gilas Pilipinas in the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2023 remains a consideration for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

During the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday, SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios admitted that the inclusion of NBA player Clarkson is still “on the table.”

“'Yung kay Jordan Clarkson is on the table. Kasama po 'yan sa pinag-uusapan sa preparasyon natin na for the most competitive team we can come up,” Barrios told the media. 

The Utah Jazz guard has Filipino roots through his mother Annette, and played for Gilas in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta after receiving a one-time exemption from the NBA. 

However, he is not eligible to play for Gilas as a local as he acquired his Philippine passport after the age of 16.

Last February, Gilas coach Chot Reyes said that the SBP has continued to lobby FIBA to allow Clarkson to play as a local.

"Not only are we making moves, we're making very serious moves," Reyes revealed during an appearance on "Power and Play" at the time.

If FIBA rules are not changed, Clarkson will only be allowed to play in the World Cup as a naturalized player.

Meanwhile, Barrios also confirmed that Reyes is carefully studying what kind of naturalized player he will be adding to the country's World Cup team in August next year. 

“That's also on the table. Nasa radar 'yan ni Coach Chot din. Kung sino, anong klase, 7'5 ba ang height, kung anong klaseng higante. O kahit hindi ganon kalakihan pero nagkakamada ng 35-40 puntos,” the official said.

“Definitely we're not looking for point guards. By process of elimination, nandun tayo sa the bigger, the better. Unless meron tayong isang option na hindi kalakihan but the talent, skill is what the team needs.”

The Philippines is co-hosting the FIBA World Cup in August to September 2023, along with Japan and Indonesia.