Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson eager to play for Gilas

Published April 30, 2021, 5:42 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball during the game against the Sacramento Kings on April 28, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. (Photo by ROCKY WIDNER / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

NBA Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jordan Clarkson reiterated his interest to once again play for Gilas Pilipinas in future international tournaments.

The Fil-American guard of the Utah Jazz said in a television interview that the possibility of donning the Gilas jersey like he did in the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games will depend if the opportunity presents itself.

“Definitely that’s something that I wanna do,” the Jazz super sub said in One Sports’ The Game which aired Thursday night.

“Hopefully everything lines up and I’m free during that time and that moment and I’m able to put that Gilas jersey back on and go win us something,” added Clarkson.

Clarkson was earlier quoted in a New York Times story that the likelihood of playing for Gilas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup which the country will serve as main host is “the big thing that’s being figured out right now.”

But Clarkson can only suit up in FIBA tournaments such as naturalized player, though the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas had made numerous attempts to convince the world governing body that the 6-foot-5 was able to secure a Philippine passport before the age of 16.

Clarkson suited up for Gilas in the 2018 Asiad which has different set of eligibility rules as compared to FIBA.

Months removed from his maiden NBA Finals appearance with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Clarkson gave Gilas a good chance of giving the Philippines its first medal in the quadrennial meet since the Centennial Team’s bronze in the 1998 Bangkok Asiad.

But Gilas could only settle for fifth place after being booted out by old foe South Korea in the quarterfinals.

That is why Clarkson expressed feeling an itch in joining Gilas in order to finish some unfinished business.

“I thought we could have won the whole thing, but we’ll get another shot at China and everybody else again,” he said.