THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has officially released their 19-man pool for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China on Monday night via its official Instagram page.
One of the notable names included in the list is Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson, whose status remains up in the air on whether the FIBA board will consider him as a local player for Gilas Pilipinas or not.
Clarkson played for Gilas Pilipinas last year as their designated naturalized player in the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia where the national team placed fifth in the tournament.
With that said, Coach Yeng Guiao remains hopeful on this matter which is why he added the NBA guard nonetheless.
“Nilagay na namin doon sa pool si Jordan Clarkson. We’re still hoping that a miracle happens,” said Guiao after Gilas Pilipinas’ practice at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas.
“It’s also a back-up plan, knock on wood, and I hope nothing happens and no harm comes to Andray (Blatche) but at least we have options on the naturalized players,” he further mentioned.
The combo guard is currently entering in the final year of his four-year $50-million contract for the upcoming 2020 NBA season.
He tallied career-high norms of 16.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in his first full season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Which is why having a guy like Jordan Clarkson is something Guiao is looking for. But regardless of what happens, Gilas Pilipinas will have at least one NBA-caliber talent in their roster.
“We’re still not giving up on our effort to bring him as a local. Kung di naman, backup siya ni Andray (Blatche) as our naturalized player,” bared Guiao.