Jordan Clarkson to miss start of Gilas Pilipinas’ practices for upcoming Fiba window
MANILA, Philippines–Jordan Clarkson is likely to miss the start of Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the two Fiba World Cup Asian qualifying games slated this August.
“I don’t think he can arrive at the 15th,” national coach Chot Reyes said. “I’m not privy to (the talks), because it’s team management and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas talking to (Clarkson’s camp), and because I’m also focusing on (TNT’s title defense).”
“As far as we’re concerned, we’ll start the practice at the 15th. And if Jordan comes to join practices—whether that’s the 17th or the 18th—he could just come in and join.”
It could be recalled that Reyes previously said he’d only deal with Clarkson once he’s actually in town.
The delay in Clarkson’s arrival has also put the spotlight on another high-profile player—Kai Sotto—whom the national cage program previously said it hopes to bring in for the World Cup qualifying games against Lebanon and Saudi Arabia later this month.
“It’s the same thing,” he said of the 7-foot-3 beanpole who is working his way back to his club in the National Basketball League in Australia.
“He has expressed his desire to play, but actually, I’m not authorized to speak on the matter because I’m not the one talking to (Sotto’s) camp,” said Reyes.
“[But] it’s the same thing. We are going to start practice. And whoever’s there, we’re going to practice with them. Anyone comes in, and if there’s still time, they are welcome.”
“But of course, if overly late, we no longer can’t accommodate that,” he added.
The Filipinos, who are using the tournament for their build-up for the 2023 World Cup, are set to play the Cedars in Beirut on August 25. They then host the Saudis at MOA Arena in Pasay City four days later.
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