MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson expressed his disappointment a day after the NBA thumbed down his request to join Gilas Pilipinas in the 2018 Asian Games.
Clarkson released a statement on his Facebook with a photo of his Gilas jersey on Monday, August 13.
“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,” wrote Clarkson.
“Although I will not be there in person, I will be with my Gilas teammates in heart and spirit.
However, Clarkson still dreams of playing for Gilas Pilipinas and remains hopeful that someday it will come true.
“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!”
Clarkson was given a go signal by the Cavaliers and the Olympic Council of Asia to join the Philippine team in the continental games, but the NBA turned him down, citing an agreement with FIBA, which stipulated that their players can only participate in the Olympics, FIBA Basketball World Cup and Continental Cup competitions.
However, this caused a social media uproar as Chinese players Zhou Qi of the Houston Rockets and Ding Yanyunhang of the Dallas Mavericks were cleared to suit up for the China national basketball team.
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) both expressed their disappointments as well.
Clarkson was also slated to be the flag bearer of the Philippines in the opening ceremonies on Saturday, August 18.
As Gilas gets its Asiad campaign going on Thursday, August 16 against Kazakhstan, head coach Yeng Guiao hopes to bring Don Trollano back to the lineup to take Clarkson’s spot. But the late inclusion should be approved by the Asian Games committee. – Rappler.com