(3RD UPDATE) After going through a grueling formation over the past few weeks, the Philippine men's national basketball team received an announcement that Jordan Clarkson was cleared by the NBA to play in the Asian Games, Philippine delegation head Richard Gomez said in an interview on DZMM on Tuesday.
An official announcement from the NBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) was yet to be made at the time this story was posted.
Al Panlilio, president of the sport's national governing body, told ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo that the SBP is waiting for confirmation from the NBA.
Gomez also told ABS-CBN News that Games organizers — the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) — have approved Clarkson's re-inclusion into the Gilas squad, paving the way for the Cavaliers guard to debut for the national team.
Clarkson had been saved a spot on the 12-man roster before the team left for Jakarta, only for that seat to be given to TNT forward Don Trollano on Monday after the NBA announced over the weekend that it wouldn't allow Clarkson to play.
Gilas opens play against Kazakhstan on Thursday.
When asked what was the latest on the Clarkson eligibility issue, Gomez told DZMM: "Talagang pinipilit pa rin namin na makalaro pa rin si Jordan Clarkson sa Asian Games. Binigyan siya ng go-signal para maglaro ng NBA."
"Meron na," Gomez added when asked about the NBA decision.
According to Gomez, Philippine sports officials mentioned the fact that NBA player Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuhang were part of the Chinese national team when they sought to appeal Clarkson's case.
"Pa'no kasi, siguro di rin nila alam na maglalaro 'yung 2 Chinese players na mayroong live contact sa NBA," Gomez said.
"And when sina (POC secretary-general Patrick) Gregorio brought up that case sa NBA, why they are not allowing Jordan, siguro na-realize nila na medyo hindi nga naman tama 'yon tapos nakita rin nila na ang daming bumabanat sa Twitter no na bakit hindi pinapayagan si Jordan Clarkson, sana payagan.
"So siguro naging consideration din 'yun."
The INASGOC and the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) are the primary agencies in charge of the Asian Games.
The NBA approval is the final obstacle Clarkson and the SBP, the sport's national governing body, needed to get the Cavaliers guard in a Gilas uniform.
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