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Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

Jordan Clarkson not closing doors on Gilas return

Jordan Clarkson has left the door open for a potential return to Gilas Pilipinas in the future, now that his journey in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 has ended.

The Utah Jazz star averaged 20.8 points in the host nation’s five games across the group and classification phases of the tournament.

He saved his best game for last, scoring 34 points as Gilas wrapped up its campaign with a 96-75 victory over China, giving the nation hope in its quest to qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Now the question is whether he will ever don the Gilas jersey again, especially with the next World Cup coming in four years’ time.FIBA-WC-PHI-vs.-CHN-Jordan-Clarkson-0272 Jordan Clarkson not closing doors on Gilas return 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“Yeah, I think so. Thirty-five isn’t that old. Thirty is the new 20, right? 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 have more time. I can still hoop. I can’t even tell you what I’m eating in the morning,” said the NBA Sixth Man of the Year awardee.

But yeah, hopefully down the line, when that time comes around again, I’ll be able to put this jersey on and represent the country.”

Clarkson was the team’s most reliable scorer throughout its campaign. He had the responsibility of not only scoring but also bringing down the ball and creating for his teammates. But there were criticisms that he held the ball for too long during games.

As the losses piled up, people questioned whether it should have been Ginebra star Justin Brownlee who should have been fielded and not him. That is all water under the bridge now, though, and he insisted that the whole team did its best until the very end.FIBA-WC-PHI-vs.-CHN-Jordan-Clarkson-1463 Jordan Clarkson not closing doors on Gilas return 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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“It’s been a tough tournament, but we kept fighting, kept competing, kept playing. We really wanted to end this on the right note. We might not see the same guys in the locker room after this, but at the same time, we just wanted to show heart, fight, and continue the resilience,” he said.

Ultimately, Clarkson was part of the Gilas team that won a home game in the World Cup for the first time in this millennium. The overall campaign obviously did not go to plan, but life goes on.

He will always be remembered for his breathtaking performance against Team Dragon to close a chapter on this historic run with Gilas.FIBA-WC-PHI-vs.-CHN-Jordan-Clarkson-0817 Jordan Clarkson not closing doors on Gilas return 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“In that third quarter, my teammates were finding me. We started getting good screens, good looks, and (I was) just able to knock them down,” said Clarkson.

“The energy from the crowd, honestly, when you start hearing that as loud as it was, it’s kind of hard to calm me down in that time and I stayed hot.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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