Sunday, September 6, 2015
SBP hopeful Jordan Clarkson can join Gilas Pilipinas in FIBA Asia Championship
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas remained hopeful Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson will be able to join Gilas Pilipinas in its campaign in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship slated Sept. 23-Oct. 3 in Changsha, China.
“It’s still a work in progress but with better clarity,” said SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas after a meeting with Los Angeles Lakers team president Jeanie Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak in LA.
Vargas said the Lakers officials have no objection for Clarkson to play for the national team on a long-term program.
But a stint by Clarkson in the forthcoming Asian meet is subject to the approval of “the Lakers coaches” since it will run in conflict with the Lakers’ media day on Sept. 28 and the Lakers’ training camp in Hawaii on Sept. 29-Oct. 7.
In the Asian meet, Oct. 1-3 is set for the quarterfinals, semifinals and final.
“They requested some time to talk to the Lakers coaches,” said Vargas.
Accompanied by PBA board member Patrick Gregorio in a six-day whirlwind trip to Taipei, Hong Kong and the US, Vargas also announced a positive dinner meeting with the father of Jordan.
“(He’s) appreciative of reception his son received from the Filipino basketball fans and from Gilas Pilipinas team,” said Vargas of his talk with Mike Clarkson.
“They asked to review the arrangement and wanted assurance that we secure Lakers permission to allow him to skip three days of training camp,” Vargas also said.
“We go home tomorrow bringing with us a more positive feeling and a commitment from the Lakers and parents that Jordan will be part of Gilas program for the long term,” Vargas added.
SBP officials are working on a tight schedule with a FIBA deadline of Sept. 8 for the submission of Final 12.
While Vargas and Gregorio conferred with the Lakers and the elder Clarkson in LA, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios was and is still in Geneva seeking FIBA clearance for Clarkson’s eligibility as a regular Gilas player.
Clarkson was included in the 24-man Gilas pool submitted to FIBA Asia earlier.