Philippine men’s basketball team coach Yeng Guiao expressed disappointment with the decision of National Basketball Association (NBA) for disallowing Jordan Clarkson to play for the Philippines in the Asian Games basketball competitions beginning on August 16 in Indonesia.
“I think he has been declared or I’m mean he has not been cleared by the NBA, and so we are prepared without Jordan Clarkson, which we have been doing since the beginning anyway,” Guiao told reporters during their last practice at the Meralco gym Sunday morning prior to the team’s departure on the evening.
“But we just got excited and we expected that he could play. So there is a little bit of disappointment, but we are ready. We still be playing as hard as we can with or without Jordan Clarkson. Maganda mood ng team ganun din they are little bit excited, but we managed our expectation.”
“We are ready to do the work on our own, but it would have been a lot of help if Jordan Clarkson plays for the Philippines, and a lot of Filipinos would have been happy so sayang,” explained Guiao. “But there is always a next time for the Philippine team.”
A statement by NBA spokesperson Tim Frank Sunday morning stated that the 6’5 Filipino-American guard from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who is a Filipino passport holder, is not allowed to play in the Olympic Council of Asia-sanctioned tournament.
“The NBA’s agreement with FIBA (International Basketball Federation) that NBA players can participate in the Olympics, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Continental Cup competition and associated qualifying tournaments. Because the Asian Games are not one of those competitions, NBA players are unable to participate. In accordance with the NBA’s agreement with FIBA, Jordan is welcome to represent the Philippines in the agreed-upon competitions,” said the NBA statement.
Guiao then re-activated Don Trollano of TNT KaTropa as his 12th player in the line-up for Clarkson.
“Isasama na namin si Don (Trollano). There is going to be a managers’ meeting and we’ll present his name there. I hope I-approved ng organizer yung name niya. Whether he’ll be approved or not, isasama na namin name niya (Trollano),” added Guiao.
Trollano, a former Adamson University swingman, has a mixed emotion in his re-activation to the line-up.
“Medyo nalungkot pag si Clarkson mas maganda kasi yung chance na manalo at mas maging competitive. Pero masaya kasi makakasama ako at hindi nasayang yung pinagpraktisan ko. Gagawin ko na lang yung role ko at ipapagawa ni coach,” said Trollano.
Last Friday, the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee gave Clarkson the approval to play in the Asian Games.