SBP says Clarkson fully committed to playing in FIBA World Cup

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2022 11:34 AM | Updated as of Aug 10 2022 04:27 PM

Jordan Clarkson warms up for the men's Basketball preliminary round game between the Philippines and China at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, 21 August 2018. File photo. Wu Hong, EPA-EFE
Jordan Clarkson warms up for the men's Basketball preliminary round game between the Philippines and China at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, 21 August 2018. File photo. Wu Hong, EPA-EFE

MANILA, Philippines -- Jordan Clarkson is "raring to go" and play for the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup 2023, an executive of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) assured. 

Clarkson, the Filipino-American guard of the Utah Jazz, has not played for Gilas Pilipinas since the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia when he got a one-time exemption from the NBA to suit up for flag and country.

But Filipino fans will get to see him in local shores next year, SBP executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios said, with Clarkson fully committed to playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the World Cup. He is tipped to be the team's naturalized player for the showpiece event.

"He is committed for the World Cup, [and he will] be available at least six weeks before the World Cup," Barrios said during Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

Clarkson is expected to play for Gilas in the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers later this month, but is not available for the FIBA windows in November 2022 and February 2023. 

He is sure to join the team next year while also devoting time to train with them, Barrios said.

"We're looking at having daily training starting April 29 (2023), as soon as natapos si PBA," Barrios explained. "So 'yung mga locals natin … will be together for more than two months by the time Jordan joins us."

Barrios is confident that it will take no time at all for Clarkson to fit in with the team, even if he joins them later than scheduled. 

"Hindi siya ordinaryong NBA player," the SBP executive pointed out. "'Yung learning curve niya, mabilis."

"He is very raring to go," Barrios said of Clarkson. "'Yan ang kagandahan sa kanya eh."

Barrios added that some local players can stand to emulate Clarkson's enthusiasm, saying: "Kaya 'yan din 'yun ang ating panawagan sa mga quote-unquote locals natin. Itong si Jordan na NBA player, masigasig na masigasig na lumaro para sa bayan natin."

"Sana naman, lahat ng ating player na tina-tap ay ganoon din kasigasig."

RELATED VIDEO:

Watch more News on iWantTFC