Jordan Clarkson to play for Gilas Pilipinas in next Fiba qualifying window, says Chot
MANILA, Philippines — Jordan Clarkson is set to reinforce Gilas Pilipinas in the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers in August, according to head coach Chot Reyes.
After another disappointing finish for Gilas in the 2022 Fiba Asian Cup, Reyes, who is also the men’s national team program director, bared to PlayItRight that the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the year from the Utah Jazz will don the Philippine squad jersey.
“We also have word that Jordan Clarkson is also coming, hoping to join the team as well on the 25th and 29th,” Reyes said Wednesday.
“I think the one thing Jordan will bring to the team is gravity. He will attract a lot of gravity. He is going to be able to, just with him being there, the other team will have to worry about stopping him and by virtue of that alone, it’s going to give open looks, open spaces, and opportunities for the players to attack and score. That’s the one thing,” he added.
The Filipino-American guard made his debut for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur where the Yeng Guiao-coached squad finished fifth.
Reyes also revealed that they are hoping to have Kai Sotto in the next tournaments after their plans of bringing him to the Asia Cup didn’t push through.
“Hopefully, Kai Sotto can make it this time,” he said.
The 7-foot-3, who last played in the February window, is still thriving to reach his NBA dream after getting undrafted in the 2022 Rookie Draft.
Besides the two stars, Reyes is also eyeing adding PBA players to the pool when the country takes on Lebanon in Beirut on August 25 and Saudi Arabia on August 29 at home.
“By then, we will have some PBA players available because the PBA players will then be in the semifinals or approaching the finals already so there will be already some players available,” Reyes said. “Very thankful for the PBA for allowing us, lending us those players.”
Gilas paraded a young core bannered by mainstay Kiefer Ravena, Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, and SJ Belangel in the 2022 Asian Cup, where it finished ninth after missing the quarterfinals for the first time in 15 years.
The young national team only won a total of two games—both against India— in the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers and their recently concluded campaign in Jakarta Indonesia.
Gilas Pilipinas takes beating from Japan, misses Fiba Asia Cup quarterfinals
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