MANILA, Philippines – Jordan Clarkson ended his first playing stint for the Philippines with a bang, dropping a team-high 29 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in Gilas Pilipinas’ 109-55 walloping of Syria to finish fifth in the 2018 Asian Games.
Despite all the lowlights, the 6-foot-5 Filipino-American guard from the Cleveland Cavaliers remained as the team’s constant bright spot, win or lose.
And if his dad Mike would have his way, he’d want his son to return.
“Of course! Of course,” he told reporters when asked about his son’s potential comeback. “[Jordan] had a lot of fun. He felt the pride. He felt all the love that he was given. I’m sure he’ll be back.”
Interim national team coach Yeng Guiao also wants the same, if the stars align for longer than a one-time exception by the NBA.
“We want him to return and play for us again as a member of our national team,” he said. “But there are some things to be considered, like schedules and the NBA.”
Overall, daddy Mike considered the Asiad experience even better than seeing Jordan in the NBA Finals with the Cavs last June.
“Well remember, he just got out of the NBA Finals, and I thought that was the pinnacle,” he said. “But now, watching him represent the country, that’s even larger than the NBA Finals. It’s a prideful moment for me and my family. Jordan has really felt a sense of accomplishment.”
“[The Asiad] helped him with his rhythm,” he continued. “Getting out there, you get game reps. I’m sure he’ll take some of the things he was able to ply on the court and move it over to the NBA as well.”
For now, Jordan is set to return to the Cavs as they begin their rebuilding process without LeBron James in the lineup for the first time in four years. His Philippine stint ends for now, but if his cohesion with Gilas is any indicator, this may be the start of something more special down the road.
And safe to say, Jordan is all in for the ride.
this experience was one i will never forget so blessed to play for the country and represent the flag and the people! loved playing for coach, along with my teammates/brothers building bonds that will hold strong. thanks for the opportunity and the support! MORE TO COME! CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT TIME I GET TO PUT THE COLORS ON! LABAN PILIPINAS! PUSO! A post shared by Jordan Clarkson (@jordanclarksons) on Aug 31, 2018 at 7:18am PDT
– with a report from Beatrice Go in Jakarta/Rappler.com