Lee, Yap lead Asian Games lineup as team awaits Clarkson green light
Yeng Guiao has finalized the 12-man lineup which will compete in the Asian Games in Indonesia next week and it included one man who still faces some uncertainty.
Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been included in Guiao’s roster for the continental athletic meet despite the NBA player’s uncertain status with the Olympic Council of Asia.
Clarkson will still need to get his accreditation from OCA and clearances from both the NBA and the Cavaliers, but Guiao was willing to take the risk of sending just 11 players if those parameters aren’t met.
“SBP [Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas] officials are working hard on trying to get him to play for the team,” said Guiao after the team’s practice Friday at Meralco Gym. “So far there’s still no clear sign if Clarkson can play but we put him in the lineup just to make sure if all those requirements are complied with.”
“There has to be a slot for Jordan Clarkson just in case he’s available.”
Giving up his slot for Clarkson is TNT’s Don Trollano, who has already played for Guiao in Rain or Shine.
Clarkson joins Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, Maverick Ahanmisi, Stanley Pringle, Christian Standhardinger, Asi Taulava, JP Erram, and Paul Lee in the lineup.
“Don Trollano had to sacrifice his slot for Jordan,” said Guiao who also cut Gilas cadets Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras. “Ricci and Kobe, we know their potential is high. It’s too bad because Kobe only had one practice while I’m really impressed with Ricci’s talent and skills.”
Guiao added that there’s still a small window for them to include Trollano in the lineup if Clarkson’s accreditation isn’t approved.
As for Clarkson’s status as a potential new player under Guiao, the head coach expects that it won’t be a problem for the 26-year-old Cavalier to acclimate himself to the team’s system.
“I’m sure with his experience, his IQ, it would be easy for him to understand the system, it’s a very simple system that we have in the team,” said Guiao. “We still have a few days before the first game on August 16 so we’ll see how he’ll jell in practice.”
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