United and ready to make a stand, the members of Team Pilipinas in the 2018 Asian Games marched their way into the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia during the opening ceremony of the continental meet.
Standing front and center among the 272-member Philippine contingent was Jordan Clarkson, a four-year Filipino-American NBA pro. He was clad in a folded-up Barong Tagalog, folded-up suit pants, and sneakers.
“It’s great, just to get the opportunity to represent the country and bring the flag. It’s going to be amazing,” Clarkson expressed prior to the opening ceremony.
“Jordan is a good role model who has reached the pinnacle of being a Filipino basketball athlete by playing in the NBA. He will inspire our other athletes here to do well,” added team chef de mission Richard Gomez regarding Clarkson’s impact as the country’s flag-bearer.
Joining Clarkson at the front of the Philippine team are Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas, POC chairman Bambol Tolentino, and POC sec-gen Pato Gregorio.
Clarkson will make his Gilas Pilipinas debut on Tuesday, August 21, when the Nationals take on China.
Some teams did not attend the festivities, such as the Women’s National Volleyball Team and the Wushu National Team. Both squads are set to compete on Sunday, August 19.
The festivities also featured a concert featuring Indonesia’s biggest stars.
Team Pilipinas is looking to finish better than their 1-gold, 3-silver, and 11-bronze haul during the 2014 Asiad in Incheon, South Korea.