Jordan Clarkson ‘all in’ for Gilas Pilipinas until 2024
TAIPEI – “I’m all in.”
That’s not a bet in poker game Jordan Clarkson was quoted by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas officials as saying on Monday night, but rather, the Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard’s commitment to play for Gilas Pilipinas for three Olympic Games starting next year in Rio de Janeiro.
Clarkson invited SBP chair Ricky Vargas and PLDT PBA board member Pato Gregorio for dinner after Gilas lost to South Korea in the Jones Cup on Monday where he gave his firm commitment to play for the land of his mother’s birth.
The SBP has also hinted that Clarkson’s additional eligibility requirements with the Fiba are easy to satisfy, with one of them, Clarkson signing an affidavit that he is Filipino, to be done within the next few days.
Vargas and Gregorio said that they are very impressed with Clarkson, whom they quoted to be talking with his girlfriend Chanel, a model, saying things like “We Filipinos are like this…”
Vargas and Gregorio will fly to the United States on Wednesday to “pay respects” to the Lakers and Clarkson’s father, not necessarily in that order, which “we hope they will appreciate.”
“It’s a Filipino tradition to pay respects and Jordan knows all about it.”
Clarkson pointed out to the SBP officials that he wants to play “in 2016, 2020 and 2024, because I am only 23.”
Gregorio was even more amazed that Clarkson has practically pin-pointed whom he wants to play with in the future, young guys like Ray Parks and Kobe Paras, who are both in the United States.
“He’s not in the Philippines to play basketball as a mercenary. His commitment is beyond basketball, he wants to impart his self-discipline, his concern for winning,” Vargas said.
“If you wear the Philippine flag, you have to be ready,” Gregorio quoted Clarkson as telling them, which is the attitude that Clarkson wants all of the PH Team players to have.
“People must envy us that we are playing for Gilas,” Gregorio went on.
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