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2023 FIBA World Cup

MVP making ‘very serious’ moves to make Jordan Clarkson a local for Gilas

‘Very serious moves’ are being done to realize the dream of seeing Jordan Clarkson play as a local for Gilas Pilipinas in FIBA tournaments.

National team head coach Chot Reyes said that none other than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan is planning to go to Geneva to personally appeal for the NBA star’s case.

The Swiss city is home to the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball, the headquarters of the world’s governing body of the sport.

“Not only are we making moves, but we’re also making very serious moves,” he said during a guest appearance in Radyo5’s Power and Play, Saturday.

“Chairman MVP is planning a trip to Geneva in March or April to personally lobby to allow Jordan to play as a local.”

To this day, Clarkson remains ineligible to play in FIBA-sanctioned meets as a local, even if the SBP had said previously that the Utah Jazz guard was able to secure a Philippine passport before turning 16.

Well, he did play for Gilas once in the 2018 Asian Games, where he helped his side to a fifth-place finish. But he was only able to do so since the Asiad’s eligibility rules are less stringent than the international federation’s.2018-asian-games-china-def-gilas-jordan-clarkson-block MVP making 'very serious' moves to make Jordan Clarkson a local for Gilas 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

As it stands, the 29-year-old guard, whose mom traces her roots to Angeles, can only suit up for the national team as a naturalized player.

“Hopefully, we can have him play as a local so that he can play together with Ange [Kouame],” Reyes said. “And then, other than that, ang hirap na mag-naturalize. You know the process. Hindi naman ganun kabilis ‘yun.”

Still, the hope to see him recognized by FIBA as a Filipino remains very much alive. And the Samahan is going all out to see that materialize, especially now that the 2023 World Cup is just 18 months away from now.

“That’s how serious we are,” Reyes said in the weekly online program hosted by former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

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Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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