The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio flew to New York City to personally thank National Basketball Association (NBA) deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum for permitting the Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson to represent and play for the Philippines men’s national team (Gilas Pilipinas) in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Our wish of having Jordan Clarkson play for the Philippine team has become a reality in the Asian Games. SBP’s desire is to have him play in future competitions during the NBA break,” said Panlilio in an official press statement released through SBP special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio on Wednesday, 5th of September.
Panlilio would also like to see Clarkson — who was initially selected with the 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards and was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on draft night — join Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team for future international competitions including FIBA World Cup as the SBP continues to shape stronger ties with the NBA.
“With a stronger communication line and relationship with Mark Tatum and the NBA, I am confident that it (Clarkson supporting the Philippines) can happen again,” Panlilio added.
The NBA has given the 26-year-old professional basketball player an authorization to play for the Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, but everything now depends on Clarkson’s timetable. Clarkson is now in mandatory training camp together with the rest of the Cavaliers.
Clarkson averaged 26.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in an impressive first appearance with the Philippine men’s basketball team in the 2018 Asian Games. In his first debut, Clarkson impressed and led the national team to a fifth-place finish in the recently concluded Asian Games, the best result for the Philippines since 2002 when it placed fourth.
The SBP has been clamoring to recruit Clarkson since he became a rookie in the NBA with the Lakers back in 2014. — CentrionNews.com