MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao has ruled out Jordan Clarkson's participation in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Guiao had included Clarkson in the 19-man pool for the tournament, but acknowledged on Wednesday that the chances of getting the Filipino-American guard to play in China was slim to none.
"Mukhang wala na si JC, so Jordan, it's too late at this point," said Guiao. "FIBA has not indicated any changes in its original decision, so we just have to move on."
Clarkson had finally gotten to play for the Philippines in the Asian Games last year, but only after getting a special clearance from the NBA. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has been trying to get Clarkson eligible to play as a local for Gilas Pilipinas for the World Cup, but it appears their efforts did not bear fruit.
Even without Clarkson, Guiao is upbeat about the national team's progress ahead of the World Cup, especially after a productive camp in Spain earlier this month.
"The Spain camp was really beneficial for everybody," he said. "We learned a lot of things in Spain. The team bonded really well."
"Everybody likes everybody, so that's something really important in the team," he added.
But Guiao is also realistic about the challenge that Gilas Pilipinas is about to take on in the FIBA World Cup. They were placed in a tough group that includes Serbia, Italy and Angola, and Guiao won't deny that they are in for a difficult time.
"The more you watch them, the more you understand that it's going to be a tough game for us," said Guiao.
The team is ready to take the challenge head on, however.
"We will go to China knowing that we will give our best, and we have prepared the best way we know," said Guiao. "We will represent the Philippines the best way we can."
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