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MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas superstar Jordan Clarkson immortalized himself in Philippine basketball lore after a scintillating FIBA World Cup finale that led the host nation to a 96-75 breakthrough against Asian rival China last Saturday, September 2.
The Utah Jazz guard and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year reminded the world why his moniker is the “Flamethrower,” as he went nuclear with 24 third-quarter points on the way to a 34-point finish that definitively sealed the Philippines’ first World Cup win in nine years, breaking a nine-game skid.
With Gilas now out of World Cup title contention, however, the question now lurks if Filipino fans have seen the last of Clarkson in national team colors.
Allaying fears, the 31-year-old star said he is more than likely ready for more, perhaps even until the next World Cup in 2027.
“Thirty-five [isn’t] old. I thought 30 is the new 20, right?” Clarkson quipped. “I still feel young. I’m still out here competing. I don’t think that’s my last performance in this jersey. I think I got more time and still can hoop.”
“I can’t even tell you what I’ll eat in the morning, but hopefully down the line when that time comes around again, I’ll be able to put this jersey on and represent the country.”
Smack dab in the prime of his career, Clarkson wrapped up his latest Gilas stint as the World Cup’s second-leading scorer with 26.0 points per game just behind Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic.
Last NBA season, the nine-year veteran also shined as Utah’s new top scoring option with 20.8 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game, all career-highs as a full-time starter.
With the way Clarkson ended his first-ever World Cup, Gilas fans will certainly not mind riding the hot hands one more time. – Rappler.com