Tuesday, August 14, 2018

JORDAN CLARKSON Rooting for PH at ASIAN GAMES, Despite Not Being Allowed to Join Team

For as long as the Philippines has been aware of the half-Filipino NBA player (currently with the Cleveland Cavaliers) Jordan Clarkson, the country,  particularly its sports committees, has dreamed of incorporating the superstar on some iteration of the national men’s basketball team, aka Gilas Pilipinas. Whenever a major international basketball comes up, Clarkson’s name tends to be included in the roster of 12 names for the national team that will be sent to participate, although his presence has never materialized. The story remains the same for the upcoming 2018 Asian Games, but Jordan Clarkson at least is cheering for Gilas.
CNN Philippines has it that Jordan Clarkson seems rather disappointed that yet another possibility for him to play for his mother’s home country has been foiled yet again. The NBA star went on his Facebook page and posted this heartfelt apology and well-wishes to Gilas Pilipinas: “To my Filipino Brothers and Sisters, I am terribly disappointed to say that I have not received the required consent to participate in the upcoming Asian Games with our National Team…Although I will not be there in person, I will be with my Gilas teammates in heart and spirit.”
The latest reason for why Clarkson cannot represent the Philippines in a basketball team was given in a statement last Sunday, August 12, from NBA spokesperson Tim Frank. It is rooted in a prior agreement between the NBA and FIBA, the international governing body for basketball. Normally, pro ballplayers are barred from international tournaments that should only involve amateur athletes, but this agreement allows NBA players to be included in any country’s national teams for events such as the FIBA World Cup, Continental Cup and the Olympics, plus their associated qualifying tournaments. The Asian Games are not included in those events, therefore Clarkson cannot play.
Team PH mission chief to Asian Games Richard Gomez voiced the disappointment of Filipino basketball enthusiasts. “It is painful for a basketball-loving country to see Jordan not playing. He is capable and able {because} he has a Filipino visa that has been cleared by the Indonesian organizing committee, even in the Olympic Council of Asia… All we were waiting for was the clearance from the NBA… but the sad news came out. It’s really heartbreaking.”
Clarkson may not have suited up for Gilas yet again, but he remains hopeful that he will get a chance at another basketball competition in the future, saying, “Despite this, my desire and ambition to play with my countrymen in the future remains resolute and I am adamant that this dream will come true! PUSO!”
The 2018 Asian Games will run from August 18 to September 2 at Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia. Gilas Pilipinas will play in Group D of the basketball tourney, with powerhouse teams Kazakhstan and China.
Image courtesy of Philstar.com


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