FIBA World Cup

Brownlee or Clarkson? Chot says Gilas still undecided as World Cup looms

Delfin Dioquino

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Brownlee or Clarkson? Chot says Gilas still undecided as World Cup looms

NATURALIZED PLAYER. Justin Brownlee suits up for Gilas Pilipinas.


'Nobody has a lock on any slot,' says head coach Chot Reyes as Gilas Pilipinas shifts its focus to the FIBA World Cup, which tips off in less than 100 days

MANILA, Philippines – The choice between Jordan Clarkson and Justin Brownlee for Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized player in the FIBA World Cup still hangs in the balance.

National team head coach Chot Reyes said he and his staff have yet to decide on the matter with less than 100 days to go before the World Cup tips off on August 25, which will be hosted jointly by the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan.

“We still have not made that decision. When I say that nobody has a lock on any slot, it is a real and honest statement – not even Justin, not even Jordan,” Reyes told One News’ The Big Story on Thursday, May 18.

Out of all the Gilas Pilipinas’ active naturalized players, Clarkson holds the most impressive credentials, having played in the NBA for nine seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Utah Jazz.

Clarkson is a former NBA Sixth Man of the Year and has career averages of 15.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists.

But Brownlee has made a strong case for the World Cup spot, owing to his availability and palpable chemistry with the team, which includes his Barangay Ginebra teammates Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo, and Japeth Aguilar.

Also, Brownlee recently led the Philippines’ redemption in the Southeast Asian Games, showing the way for the “Redeem Team” that reclaimed the gold medal in the regional showpiece.

But Reyes said the choice is not solely based on who is the better player.

“It is not only going to be skills. There are other factors – schedules, their own personal schedules, economics. To be very honest about it, to be very frank, economics is also going to be an issue,” Reyes said.

“There are a lot of things that are going to be involved in making the final determination.”

As the World Cup clock ticks on Gilas Pilipinas, the next move for Reyes and his staff is to determine which players will make up the pool.

“We plan to have a 16-, 18-man pool, it might be more, to go on an extended training period that will include foreign camps and tuneup games against quality competition,” Reyes said.

“That should give us a better idea of what the final composition is going to be.” –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.