Jordan Clarkson vows to make playing for Gilas Pilipinas happen

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American Los Angeles Laker Jordan Clarkson once again reiterated his desire to play for Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine national men's basketball team.

In a story by CBS Los Angeles, the 24-year-old vowed to make his dream of wearing a Pilipinas jersey happen.

"We're going to make playing for the Filipino national team happen," he was quoted as saying.

"It just comes with time and being able to connect with those people. I feel all the support and love they had throughout my years in the NBA, so I'm still trying to do well for them and, hopefully, be able to put on for my country."

Clarkson remains doubtful to suit up for Gilas even after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas had already submitted paperwork to FIBA, the international basketball federation, lobbying for his eligibility.

In order for Clarkson to be eligible for the Philippine team, he must prove that he had already secured a Philippine passport by age 16. Clarkson has reportedly claimed that he has held such a passport since the age of 12.

FIBA, though, has yet to decide on the matter.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said on Tuesday, April 11, that Clarkson has not reached out to them so far.

Clarkson, a combo guard, could go the route of naturalization in order to play but that would mean replacing current naturalized center Andray Blatche – a much-needed big man providing size up front.

Gilas will next see action in the 2017 SEABA Championships, to be hosted here from May 12 to 18, where they will need to win gold to qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup in August.

Had Clarkson been eligible, he would have been available to Gilas for the SEABA tilt with the Lakers missing the NBA post-season this year. –