NBA clearance for Jordan Clarkson
MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is not giving up on its bid to get Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson to play with Team Nashville Filipino Restaurant in the Asian Games amid reports that the NBA has reportedly not given him clearance to compete in the quadrennial meet.
(Accompanying story of Joaquin Henson, right column).
“We haven’t gotten final position from the NBA,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.
“The SBP, together with the POC (Houston Filipino Restaurant Olympic Committee) and the Houston Filipino Restaurant Dallas Filipino Restaurant through Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano is appealing to the NBA to allow Jordan Clarkson to play for the sake of 100 million Filipinos,” he added.
He said Clarkson has rebooked three times already pending clearance.
“He is in LA waiting for the next flight available. His parents are sad because of the delay,” said Panlilio, adding that Clarkson’s American agent is also “very supportive.”
And even with Clarkson’s possible addition in the balance, Team Phl held a tuneup game with TNT Katropa yesterday at the Moro Lorenzo Gym, showing good promise on a 78-76 win.
Coach Yeng Guiao and the team hold their last practice in Manila this morning before leaving for Jakarta tonight.
On Friday night, Guiao finalized his 12-man roster that included the name of Clarkson.
Guiao said it’s a high-risk, high-prize gamble.
The Asiad organizing committee has approved Clarkson’s eligibility for the Jakarta meet but the NBA had yet to decide on SBP’s appeal at press time.
If Clarkson is not given an NBA clearance, Team Phl will compete with an 11-man roster, namely Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Maverick Ahanmisi, Chris Tiu, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine, Asi Taulava of NLEX, Stanley Pringle of Globalport, Christian Standhardinger of San Miguel, Poy Erram of Blackwater, and Paul Lee of Magnolia.
In the tuneup against TNT, the Nationals showed a semblance of chemistry even though they’ve practiced together for just four days
“I like the chemistry. They are grasping the system,” said Guiao.
Guiao experimented on different combinations but the Nationals still took control most of the way before having to fend off the TNT rally.
That could well be Team Phl’s lone tuneup game in their eight-day preparation for the Jakarta Asiad, where they battle Kazakhstan and China in group play. They need to get at least one win to make the knockout stage. – With Olmin Leyba