Philippine basketball

Jazz super sub Jordan Clarkson raring for new Gilas stint

JR Isaga
‘Hopefully, everything lines up… I'll put that Gilas jersey back on and go win us something,’ says Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson

NBA Sixth Man of the Year front-runner Jordan Clarkson may be making massive waves nowadays for the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz, but he hasn’t forgotten to lend his services to Gilas Pilipinas if ever the stars align once again.

“Yeah, that’s definitely something I want to do. Hopefully, everything lines up and I’m free that time and that moment and I’ll put that Gilas jersey back on and go win us something,” Clarkson said on One Sports’ The Game.

Since his historic one-time stint back in the 2018 Asian Games, the 6-foot-4 combo guard has not been able to don the Gilas colors again due to stringent FIBA eligibility rules.

Although the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) continues to lobby for Clarkson’s inclusion as a local player, the national team has since moved on to strengthening its youth program with Clarkson now nothing more than a welcome bonus if he gets to play.

Despite these hardships regarding local eligibility, the 28-year-old star remains grateful to his massive Filipino fan base continually supporting him in his NBA journey.

“I feel it all the time. I always see the flag, puso (heart), everything. Just love and support every time I check my phone, it’s amazing,” he said.

“One year, I had a bunch of All-Star votes for me. Hopefully next year, I put on another great campaign, and you guys vote me in the All-Star Game if I play at that level.”

This year, in fact, even NBA legends like Charles Barkley have hopped on the Clarkson hype train, as he boldly declared that the former Los Angeles Lakers prospect was playing better than current LA superstar Anthony Davis through the All-Star break.

Clearly, Clarkson is having a career year in the NBA with the playoff-bound Jazz, and will likely be too preoccupied for a Gilas career that is, as of right now, rickety at best.

But while his availability might always be in question, his loyalty for home never will. – Rappler.com

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