Gilas Pilipinas Men will be having an added boost come the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ fourth window.
Gilas program director and head coach Chot Reyes bared on Wednesday that Jordan Clarkson will be part of the pool.
“We also have word that Jordan Clarkson is also coming, hoping to join the team as well on the 25th and 29th,” he told PlayItRight TV.
Clarkson is listed as a naturalized player by FIBA.
Reyes said that having the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year will be a big addition to the team.
“I think the one thing Jordan will bring to the team is gravity. He will attract a lot of gravity.
“He is going to be able to, just with him being there, the other team will have to worry about stopping him and by virtue of that alone, it’s going to give open looks, open spaces, and opportunities for the players to attack and score. That’s the one thing,” he said.
Reyes is also hoping that 7-foot-3 big man Kai Sotto will join the team saying, “Hopefully, Kai Sotto can make it this time.”
The Philippines will be facing Lebanon in Beirut on August 25 and will host Saudi Arabia on the 29th.
Also joining the team are some reinforcements from the Philippine Basketball Association.
“By then, we will have some PBA players available because the league will be in the semifinals already. Very thankful to the PBA for lending us their players,” he said.
“We will only start practicing on August 15 when everyone is available. At least we will see some more players we can take a look at for 2023. That’s part of the plan, the August 25 window.”
Reyes though said that the fifth window will be a problem as the PBA and the UAAP will be ongoing by then.
“Unfortunately, for November, I’m already telling everyone that we are going to have a problem for that window because the PBA, UAAP, and NCAA are ongoing,” he lamented as the PBA does not have a FIBA break.
“There’s going to be a problem putting a team together for November. We have some contingency plans.”
For the final window from February 24 to 27 in Manila, Reyes is fielding the collegiate stars once more.
“February window next year, the UAAP will be off. We will have the benefit of those players as well.”
From May onwards, Reyes is hoping to have a big pool at his disposal.
“We are preparing for middle of May, 2023 where the PBA will be off. We will be getting all the players that we want to train for at least three months so that by August, we will have a team that is well-prepared like in 2014.”