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Clarkson says he’ll support PH squad in heart and spirit

 

By WAYLON GALVEZ

 

Like all Filipino cage fans, Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers was also broken-hearted.

The Fil-American player said his heart also bled after the NBA rejected the last-minute appeal of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to let him reinforce the Philippine basketball team in the 18th Asian Games which officially kicks on Saturday in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In a post on his Facebook page Jordan Clarkson, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard said:

“To my Filipino Brothers and Sisters, I am terribly disappointed to say that I have not received the required consent to participate in the upcoming Asian Games with our national team,” said Clarkson.

Last Sunday, the NBA issued a statement through spokesmen Tim Frank, saying the Asian Games is not part of the agreement the league signed with the world governing body for basketball FIBA.

“The NBA’s agreement with FIBA stipulates that NBA players can participate in the Olympics, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Continental Cup competitions, and associated qualifying tournaments,” said Frank.

“Because the Asian Games are not one of those competitions, NBA players are unable to participate. In accordance with the NBA’s agreement with FIBA, Jordan is welcome to represent the Philippines in the agreed-upon competitions,” Frank added.

The national team – backed by Rain or Shine – submitted Friday a 12-man roster with Clarkson on the lineup to the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC).

The SBP and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), as well as the PH government – thru the Department of Foreign Affairs under Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano – made an appeal to the NBA to allow Clarkson to play for the national team.

Their appeal was turned down.

Despite the NBA’s decision, Clarkson said that he would continue to support the national team, and that representing that country in future international events will still be a commitment.

“Although I will not be there in person, I will be with my Gilas teammates in heart and spirit,” said Clarkson.

“Despite this, my desire and ambition to play with my countrymen in the future remains resolute and I am adamant that this dream will come true,” added Clarkson, who also played for the Los Angeles Lakers during his first three seasons in the NBA.

Meantime, the national team of coach Yeng Guiao is hoping that Don Trollano will be given the green light to replace Clarkson.

The managers’ meeting is ongoing at press time.

“Don is ok, he was given his accreditation and has been issued his ID,” said ROS representative Edison Oribiana, adding that Trollano was even give business class seat originally reserved for Clarkson on their way to Jakarta.

“Of course, we’ll all know if he’ll be allowed to play after the managers’ meeting,” Oribiana said.

The other players on the roster of Guaio are ROS mainstays Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Chris Tiu, Beau Belga, Maverick Ahanmisi and former two-time PBA MVP James Yap, Magnolia’s Paul Lee, NLEX’s Asi Taulava, Stanley Pringle of GlobalPort, San Miguel Beer’s Christian Standhardinger and Blackwater’s JP Erram.

The national team will start their bid against Kazakhstan on Thursday and will tackle China on August 21 in Group D action. Only the top two teams will advance in the quarterfinal stage.

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