Clarkson to play for Gilas in WC qualifiers?

Clarkson to play for Gilas in WC qualifiers?

This can well be tackled as the PBA board of governors, including SBP president Al Panlilio (representing Meralco) sits down in a meeting today to discuss, among others, the Gilas lineup in the absence of those serving FIBA suspension. File

MANILA, Philippines — With the NBA making it clear Jordan Clarkson can’t play in the Asian Games but can suit up for Team Philippines in the World Cup qualifiers, the question is whether Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas would field the Fil-Am NBA player in Gilas Pilipinas’ games in the September window of the FIBAWC eliminator versus Iran and Qatar.


This can well be tackled as the PBA board of governors, including SBP president Al Panlilio (representing Meralco) sits down in a meeting today to discuss, among others, the Gilas lineup in the absence of those serving FIBA suspension.


Clarkson posted a message on his Facebook account yesterday, saying he’s still looking forward to play for Team Phl despite his non-inclusion in the Asian Games men’s basketball tournament that fires off today.


Opening games pit Thailand versus Mongolia and host Indonesia against South Korea in Group A and Chinese Taipei opposite Japan and Hong Kong against Qatar in Group C.


Coach Yeng Guiao and his team arrived in Jakarta early yesterday morning, three days ahead of their opening game against Kazakhstan at 10 a.m. Thursday.


“I am terribly disappointed to say that I have not received the required consent to participate in the Asian Games with our national team. Although I will not be there in person, I will be with my teammates in heart and spirit,” said Clarkson on his Facebook message.


“Despite this, my desire and ambition to play with my countrymen in the future remains resolute and I am adamant that this dream will come true,” he added.


Panlilio said Clarkson is indeed allowed to play in the WC qualifiers but “we haven’t decided on the window yet.”


First to be resolved is who will handle the team on the suspension of coach Chot Reyes and assistant coach Jong Uichico.


As for the players to take over from suspended players Andray Blatche, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright and Jio Jalalon, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they can choose from the entire PBA roster to get replacements.


The PBA board discusses the matter today before leaving tomorrow for Jakarta to cheer for Team Phl in its game against Kazakhstan.


The league commissioner and the board have also booked tickets to cheer for the entire Phl delegation in the opening ceremonies at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium Saturday.


After the Jakarta Asiad, next up for Team Phl is its travel to Tehran for its game versus Team Iran on Sept. 13 in the FIBAWC qualifiers.


Four days later, Gilas plays Qatar in a closed-door match at home.