July 17, 2019
Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao has included Jordan Clarkson to the 19-man pool submitted to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) despite the slim chance that the Fil-Am player will actually see action in the 2019 FIBA World Cup on August 31 to September 15 in China.
Clarkson is a combo guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the National Basketball Association.
“Maliit ang possibility pero mas mabuti na nandun siya. Kahit ten percent or five percent lang paano kung mangyari tapos hindi natin magamit dahil hindi natin na-submit? Kasi makakapili ka lang sa na submit mo. So if in case that a miracle happens, mai-exercise natin ‘yung choice natin kung nasa listahan siya (There’s a small possibility but we are better off with him included in the pool. We should take advantage of it even if the possibility of him playing is just ten or five percent. But what if he was allowed to play and he’s not in the pool? We can only choose the players whose names are in the pool we submitted. So if that miracle happens, we can field him in because he’s in the list),” said Guiao.
Guiao, also the coach of Northern Luzon Expressway in the Philippine Basketball Association, said that it was the 6’5 Clarkson who expressed willingness to play for the country anew after representing the Philippines for the first time in the Asian Games in Indonesia last year.
“Five to 10 percent but it’s better to be sure. It’s not within our control, it’s FIBA’s. We are just appealing to FIBA. He is indicating that he wants to play. I’m not closing the door and I’m hoping,” added Guiao.
Guiao explained that there is no reason for the NBA to prevent Clarkson from representing the PH in the World Cup since many of its players are doing the same for their countries.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio is still persuading FIBA to allow Clarkson to play for Gilas.
The other members of the pool are Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Mark Barroca, Beau Belga, Andray Blatche, Robert Bolick, JP Erram, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Roger Pogoy, Stanley Pringle, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Christian Standhardinger, Matthew Wright and CJ Perez.
Naturalized player Blatche, who arrived on Saturday and joined Monday’s practice declined to be interviewed by the media.
Gilas Pilipinas will see action in Bracket D along with powerhouse Serbia, Italy and Angola.
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