Jordan Clarkson to play as naturalized player for Gilas Pilipinas

·2 min read

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) spokesperson and executive director Sonny Barrios has disclosed that the Utah Jazz’s Filipino-American star Jordan Clarkson will be playing for the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team as a naturalized player and not as a local.

This will be Clarkson’s status in FIBA-sanctioned events, relayed Barrios during his appearance at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

“Hindi na pwede yung local. Tinanggap na namin na naturalized ang classification niya sa Fiba,” Barrios said.

The SBP has long batted to the international basketball federation for Clarkson to be classified as a local. However, it appears that the request was thumbed down.

"We tried our best. Maraming pagsisikap na makuha ang ating kagustuhan pero gagamitin na natin siyang naturalized. There's no turning back," added Barrios.

Clarkson will finally make his debut for the Philippines in a FIBA event during the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers later this month. Gilas will be taking on Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year will have numerous B.League stars playing alongside him. This includes Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, Thirdy Ravena, and Dwight Ramos. Collegiate aces Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao will also be playing as well as Francis Lopez. The rest of the roster will be rounded out by PBA players.

Barrios also bared that Clarkson has committed to be with the team six weeks before the World Cup. This means he will be training with the national team for two months.

“He is committed for the World Cup to be available at least six weeks before the World Cup,” said Barrios. “’Yung mga locals natin, assuming siya ang ating naturalized for the World Cup, will be together for two months by the time Jordan joins us. But that should not be a problem.”