Camp opens as Gilas awaits Clarkson arrival | Inquirer Sports
FOR FOURTH WINDOW

Camp opens as Gilas awaits Clarkson arrival

/ 04:20 AM August 15, 2022

Jordan Clarkson —AFP

Jordan Clarkson —AFP

Gilas Pilipinas will start preparations for the August window of the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday night—in a closed environment, as usual—as the squad crams for just over a week for two games that should dictate the course of the cage program’s plans geared toward the global showcase set here a year from now.

Training will be at Meralco Gym in Pasig City, with access to be highly restricted, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ (SBP) Sonny Barrios executive director told the Inquirer on Sunday.

The Philippines is scheduled to play Fiba Asia Cup runner-up Lebanon in Beirut on Aug. 25, and then host Saudi Arabia on Aug. 29 at Mall of Asia Arena as it test-drives a crew that will be led by Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson who will play his first official game on local soil.

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Gilas intends to build around Clarkson from a pool that features cagers plying their trade overseas led by Australia pro league veteran Kai Sotto. Ray Parks Jr., Dwight Ramos, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, who are all now based in Japan, and varsity stars Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao are also expected to be there.

A bevy of stars from the Philippine Basketball Association is also expected to crowd each other in the selection. Among the names reportedly in consideration are Meralco’s Chris Newsome, San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez, and longtime Chot Reyes guy Troy Rosario of TNT who are all still competing in the ongoing Philippine Cup semifinals.

Players whose teams enter the Philippine Cup Finals will be stricken off the August window list, though.

Reigning Most Valuable Player and Ginebra ace Scottie Thompson and teammate Japeth Aguilar are also reportedly in the mix. They are joined by Calvin Oftana of NLEX and Jamie Malonzo of NorthPort. These players are shaping up as likely attendees of the Monday huddle as they have since been free from club duties.

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National coach Reyes said earlier this month that the pool will “for sure” feature a number of Gin Kings, whose coach, Tim Cone, is listed as his assistant all the way to the World Cup next year.

The SBP said they expect the 7-foot-3 Sotto to arrive on Thursday, Aug. 18. Clarkson, barring any hitches, is projected to plane in the next day.

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Reyes has since stressed that the cage program is using the Fiba windows to determine the best possible lineup for the global meet that will feature the best on the planet. INQ

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TAGS: Basketball, Gilas Pilipinas, Jordan Clarkson, Sports

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