Yeng: Mukhang wala na si Jordan

With less than two weeks before plunging into action at the Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas is no longer entertaining the thought of having NBA player Jordan Clarkson playing for the country.

National team coach Yeng Guaio said all signs point toward Clarkson being barred by the world's governing body in amateur basketball to play in the World Cup which begins on Aug. 31 in eight cities across  Mainland China.

“Mukhang wala na si Jordan,” Guiao told reporters yesterday  at the Meralco multi-purpose hall. “It’s too late at this point.”

Clarkson was included in the 19-man pool by Gilas Pilipinas in the possibility that the Cleveland Cavaliers guard will be allowed to play as a local. Fiba rules state that only one naturalized player is allowed per team, and Clarkson is classified as a naturalized player, having obtained his Philippine passport after the age of 16.

Jordan played for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games after being given a clearance by the NBA.

Guiao said Fiba has not indicated that there will be changes to its rules on naturalized players.

“Fiba has not indicated any change in its original decision so we just have to move on,” said Guiao.

Guiao is taking the recent development in a light manner.

“Si Don Clarkson na lang daw ang isasama namin,” said Guiao in jest, referring to Don Trollano, who was cut during the Asian Games in favor of Clarkson.

The Filipinos open their campaign against world No. 9 Italy on Aug.31 in Foshan, China, in one of eight games taking the wraps off the 32-nation, eight-group tournament where the United States is the defending champion.They play Europ[ean heavyweight Serbia on Sept. 2 before wrapping up their elimination round assignment against Angola two days later.