‘Too late at this point’: Yeng Guiao says no Jordan Clarkson for Fiba World Cup
MANILA, Philippines—Jordan Clarkson won’t be suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas for the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup despite being in the pool submitted to the basketball governing body.
Guiao said during Gilas Pilipinas’ sendoff ceremonies Wednesday at Meralco that getting Clarkson in a Philippine jersey is practically impossible at this point with just eight days to go before tip-off.
“It seems that we won’t be getting JC, it’s too late at this point,” said Guiao. “Fiba has not indicated any changes in its original decision, so we just have to move on.”
Clarkson can only suit up for the country in Fiba tournaments as a naturalized player since despite being Filipino-American.
Fiba restricts just one naturalized player per team and center Andray Blatche already holds that slot in the Gilas lineup.
Clarkson once suited up for the Philippines during the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, since the regional event doesn’t operate under Fiba rules, but it took the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to get special clearance from Cleveland Cavaliers—Clarkson’s club team in the NBA—for him to represent the Philippines.
Nevertheless, Guiao is confident in his team as it continues to gear up for the World Cup.
Gilas played in a pocket tournament in Spain the past week and they are slated to play in more tune-up games against Australian clubs in the weekend.
“The Spain camp was really beneficial for everybody. We learned a lot of things and the team bonded really well,” said Guiao. “Everybody likes everybody so that’s something really important in the team.”
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