04 September 2015

Clarkson Can Play, But ...

Clarkson and David
The Los Angeles Lakers just gave the green signal that will allow Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson play for the Philippine national men’s basketball team in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship later this month.

However there's one catch: the Lakers want Clarkson back before 28 September 2015, or right before their annual media day and training camp. That is right at the middle of the Olympic qualifier, meaning Gilas Pilipinas will only have him at the start of the tournament.

"Per the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the Player’s Association, as long as national team play does not interfere with team requirements and there are no injury issues, it is up to the players whether or not to play," Lakers Public Relations Vice President John Black told CBS Los Angeles.

"Our players must be in Los Angeles on 28 September, so as long as he would be back by then, we would have no objection to Jordan playing in the event up until that date."

Gilas Pilipinas will face Palestine on 23 September, Hong Kong on 24 September and Kuwait on 25 September during the preliminary round. They will also have games until the 29th for the second round.

Given the condition set by the Lakers, Clarkson won’t be around anymore when Gilas Pilipinas needs him the most, particularly when the FIBA Asia knockout round starts on 1 October.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas officials have already flown to LA to talk to Lakers management about Clarkson’s stint with Gilas. They will also meet with his dad who earlier released a statement explaining why his son shouldn’t suit up for the national team.

Before going back to LA, Clarkson was with Gilas Pilipinas in its first games in the William Jones Cup in Taiwan but he was behind the bench cheering the team.

Clarkson, who is still seeking approval from FIBA, was included in the Gilas Pilipinas’ 24-man lineup submitted for the FIBA Asia tournament.

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