Clarkson ‘disappointed’ to miss Gilas’ Fiba Asia bid
Jordan Clarkson may not be part of the Philippines’ final 12 players who will be competing in the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship but Filipinos can expect the Los Angeles Lakers guard to be with Gilas Pilipinas every step of the way.
Clarkson had recently committed to be part of the national team program for the long haul and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas worked double time to pass the necessary papers to get Fiba’s green light but failed to beat the deadline.
“I’m very disappointed I won’t be able to play with the Gilas National Team during the FIBA Asia Championships from September 23 to October 3,” Clarkson said in a statement released by the SBP Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Clarkson also shared his conversations with his father and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak regarding his decision to be part of Gilas and experiences with the team in the 2015 Jones Cup in Taiwan.
“Upon my return from supporting Gilas in The Jones Cup, I had a great talk with my dad. I told him of my experiences with the team and how passionate I was about representing an entire country. My Dad told me to follow my heart,” he said.
“I spoke to Lakers General Manager, Mitch Kupchak, and he shared the same sentiments about representing an entire country and supported my decision either way,” Clarkson, who made it to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, added.
He also took time to thank his Filipino fans, most of which are diehard Lakers supporters, and extend his gratitude to the SBP.
“The Filipino Fans are some of the most passionate in the world and many of them are Laker’s supporters. I want to sincerely thank all of the fans who sent me letters of encouragement during these last three months about Gilas,” the statement read.
“I trust my team of advisors as they all worked very hard to get terms prepared that would afford me the opportunity to be part of Gilas, if approved. I’d like to say “thank you” for all the people that worked diligently in an attempt to make a dream become reality. SBP Management led by MVP and Mr. Ricky Vargas and Mr. Gregorio, Maria Espaldon of East-West Private, and TEAMCLARKSON.”
Clarkson believes that the 12 players chosen will be up to the task of bringing home the gold medal and the ticket to Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“We can all agree, the 12 men selected to represent the Philippines in this 2015 FIBA Asia Championship have earned the right and any continued efforts on my part would not be fair to the team. I will cheer them onto Gold. Let’s Get To Rio!”
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