Jordan Clarkson expected to play for Gilas in World Cup qualifiers, Chot reveals

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2022 02:30 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 – After a dismal performance in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes hinted at the possibility of NBA star Jordan Clarkson suiting up for the Philippines in the next tournament. 

In an exclusive interview with Play It Right TV, Reyes said he got word about Clarkson joining the team for the next window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers. 

“We also have word that Jordan Clarkson is also coming. Hoping to join the team as well to play on the 25th and the 29th [of August],” the embattled coach said. 

Reyes was asked about the future plans for Gilas after missing the quarterfinals of the Asia Cup for the first time since 2007 and losing the gold in the Southeast Asian Games last May. 

According to Reyes, they have already plotted all the competitions before the much-anticipated hosting of the country of the FIBA World Cup in August 2023. 

Gilas will once again be tested in August for the fourth window of the qualifiers where they will be facing Lebanon, who demolished them in the Asia Cup recently. 

“By then [August window], we will have some PBA players available because the PBA players will then be in the semifinals or approaching the finals already so there will be already some players available. Very thankful for the PBA for allowing us, lending us those players,” Reyes revealed before giving the update on Clarkson.

Reyes is also hoping to see Kai Sotto playing for Gilas soon. 

Gilas finished ninth in the Asia Cup after a humiliating loss to Japan in the playoffs for the last quarterfinal berth in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Last June, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios admitted that the inclusion of 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 said at the time. 

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, Reyes said the SBP has continued to lobby FIBA to allow Clarkson to play as a local.

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