Reyes sees Clarkson improvement from last Gilas stint | Inquirer Sports

Reyes sees Clarkson improvement from last Gilas stint

/ 05:15 AM August 12, 2023

Jordan Clarkson NBA Gilas Pilipinas Fiba World Cup

Jordan Clarkson during his first practice with Gilas Pilipinas ahead of the Fiba World Cup.

National coach Chot Reyes feels it’s too soon to evaluate Jordan Clarkson’s reunion with the Gilas Pilipinas program.

Clarkson adjusting on the fly with his teammates during a game, however, is another thing.


“I don’t think there’s going to be any problems in terms of integrating. It’s easy to learn an offense, it’s easy to pick steps and all that,” he said in a recent television interview with ONE Sports.


“But the little nuances? The counters, the tweaks, and the reads that you only get in game-time situations? That’s really my important concern right now.”

Clarkson returned to Manila early Tuesday morning and rejoined the program on Wednesday night during a closed-door session at Philsports Arena in Pasig City, kicking off Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup into top gear.

But his participation has been limited to just shootarounds, 5-on-0 runs, and familiarization with Gilas standouts whom he missed during his previous tour last year: June Mar Fajardo, Rhenz Abando, and AJ Edu.

Reyes said he hopes to address that through the tuneup games leading up to the Aug. 25 showcase. The Philippines, ranked 40th in the Fiba ladder, have since scheduled matches against world No. 18 Montenegro on Aug. 20, and No. 31 Mexico on Aug. 21, while another friendly is being arranged against Ivory Coast on Aug. 16.

“It’s important that we have three more friendlies—three more tune-up games coming up—so that we are able to work on those little things that are very important in execution with (Jordan),” Reyes said.

Whatever adjustments Clarkson should go through are going to be trivial as far as Reyes is concerned. In fact, he is expecting an even better version of the player who helped Gilas in the World Cup Qualifying games against Lebanon on the road and Saudi Arabia around a year ago today.


“I’ve always believed that NBA players, very good players, they’re in the NBA for a reason. And one of those reasons is their ability to continue improving and developing their game,” Reyes said.

“I’m sure that the Jordan Clarkson we had in the windows is not the same. We’re getting the much-improved Jordan Clarkson this time, just by having more practice with us,” he went on.

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“I think during the windows, we had four, five practices before we played Lebanon, so just by having more practices, I think we’re going to see that effect.”

TAGS: Chot Reyes, Gilas Pilipinas, Jordan Clarkson

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