Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson is among the players who will join the Gilas Pilipinas pool as the nation prepares for the August FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Window 4 competition.
Clarkson first join the Gilas program back in August 2018 during the 2018 Asian Games. He led the national team in scoring most of their outings and they finished the tournament in fifth place. Though they weren’t able to take home the championship hardware it was the Philippines’ best finish in 16 years. Clarkson is currently playing with the Utah Jazz in the NBA but there are rumors that he can be traded as the Jazz seems like on its rebuild phase.
Apart from the former the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, the initial members of Gilas will feature former PBA players and several from amateur ranks but some have already proven international basketball experience. Bobby Ray Parks, Francis Lopez, Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, Dwight Ramos, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena are the official names released by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Initially, SBP wanted to bring Clarkson as a local player yet as per FIBA, the sweet-shooting guard can only suit up as Gilas’ naturalized player.
“We tried our best. Maraming pagsisikap na makuha ang ating kagustuhan pero gagamitin na natin siyang naturalized. There’s no turning back,” said SBP spokesperson and executive director Sonny Barrios.