FIBA World Cup Rumors: Jordan Clarkson Facing Tall Odds Suiting Up For Team Pilipinas
Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine national team, scored a major milestone recently and they will need all the help they can get in the 2019 FIBA World Cup set for China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15. Jordan Clarkson, who suited up for the country in the 2018 Asian Games could be a big boost although there is a FIBA ruling that stands in the way.
Apparently, Clarkson's nationality does not fall under the category of a local under FIBA rules despite his lineage. However, a thin line of hope remains with the Samahang Basketbolista ng Pilipinas exhausting all efforts to try and have the 26-year-old in the roster later this year, Manila Bulletin Sports said.
“We are working on it for quite some time now,” said SBP president Al Panlilio. “We will exert all our efforts just to make it happen for the country."
Clarkson seems inclined to be in China this August, making it known that he wants to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas. In fact, the cager who hails from Angeles, Pampanga has even sought the help of Filipino fans on social media, seeking their help in making some noise for him to play in this year's World Cup, Manila Bulletin Sports said in another report.
Hence, the odds of seeing Clarkson play in China will fall largely on how Panlilio and company can convince FIBA to allow the NBA star to suit up. There will be no conflict in the schedule since the NBA will be on break when the 2019 FIBA World Cup kicks off.
With Andray Blatche a shoo-in for the naturalized player slot, it will take a lot to convince FIBA to allow Clarkson to play for Gilas Pilipinas. Back in 2018, it was a last-minute thing that allowed the Fil-American to suit up for the Philippines in Jakarta, Indonesia. It could be the same story for Clarkson in China.
Speaking of the NBA, Clarkson could use that stint as a way to stay in shape. Although he is one of the Cavs reliable offensive weapons, there is a possibility that he could end up moving to another team before the 2019-20 NBA season.
Either way, Clarkson has proven that he has the leadership and offensive talent to help any team in the NBA and the international scene. For now, he needs to finish the current NBA season and end it with a bang.