A media statement released by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Thursday indicates that Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson is not playing for Gilas Pilipinas in its campaign in the FIBA Asia Championship on September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China.
“My father, Mike, has always looked out for my welfare and is only genuinely concerned for my career, my future and my well being—his thoughts are that of a very loving dad,” said Clarkson in a media statement released by SBP.
Despite the development, Gilas coach Tab Baldwin said that Clarkson has been an inspiration for the team.
“We are glad to see him wearing the Filipino jersey. All players are currently inspired to practice beside him but there’s no any physical contact for him during the training. He only joined the drills to avoid getting injured,” Baldwin told The Manila Times in an interview.
Clarkson said in the statement that he would always be on a look out for opportunity to play for the Philippines, “But I want to assure my Filipino brothers and sisters if given the chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and country. This is the reason why I’ am observing and familiarizing myself with the team while I’ am here.”
“I will even follow them in Taipei for the Jones Cup so I can see them compete close up and benefit from the learning from the said experience. Laban Pilipinas! Puso!”