With roster gutted, Gilas seeks help everywhere–including NBA
With a forgettable brawl resulting in a gutted roster, Gilas Pilipinas continues to look for ways to patch the many holes it needs to fill for the Asian Games.
The PBA has already excused its players from the national pool, but is working to lend the Rain or Shine squad for the Asiad—but the team definitely needs a boost.
And the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the country’s national basketball federation, will pull out all the stops to get Cleveland Cavaliers standout Jordan Clarkson to lend Gilas Pilipinas much needed offense and star power.
SBP is hoping to be able to work a deal with the Cavaliers management so Clarkson can suit up for the national team in the Asiad scheduled Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said he was briefed by SBP officials on the proposed plan to include the 6-foot-5 guard in the lineup.
“Clarkson will be a great addition to the team in the Asian Games. I was told that they are now working on getting him in time for the competition,” Marcial told the Inquirer.
Beefed up by PBA players and naturalized center Marcus Douthit, the Philippines placed seventh in the previous Asian Games in 2014 held in Incheon, South Korea.
The Gilas Pilipinas roster was depleted after figuring in an ugly brawl with the Australian men’s basketball team. Ten players and two coaches, including head coach Chot Reyes and naturalized player Andray Blatche, were suspended from international meets for a varied number of games.
Although it wasn’t clear whether the Asian Games is part of the suspension, the SBP is leaving nothing to chance. But bringing over Clarkson, who holds a Philippine passport, will be quite tricky for the SBP.
“Eighteen players have been submitted by SBP to the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) to compose the Gilas team to the Asian Games, among them Jordan Clarkson and mostly Rain or Shine players,” said POC president Ricky Vargas.
The local basketball federation should first get the approval of the Cavaliers and work around a schedule that will not run in conflict with Clarkson’s commitments in the NBA.
“It’s an option we are exploring,” said SBP president Al Panlilio in a text message.
Once approved by the Cavaliers management, the Philippine Olympic Committee will seek the blessings of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (Inasgoc) to facilitate Clarkson’s accreditation.
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