by Ernest Hernandez
The Asian Games is fast approaching and the Rain or shine-reinforced national team has delayed their announcement of their With the Asian Games fast approaching, the Rain or shine-backed Philippine national squad was forced to delay once again the final 12-man roster following the latest buzz of Jordan Clarkson possibly joining them to Indonesia.
11 spots have already been filled up with Don Trollano and Ricci Rivero, initially slugging it out for the final slot. As previously reported, only Kobe Paras has been cut after the UP Fighting Maroon missed several practice sessions due to illness.
However, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson becomes the latest wildcard that could be included.
On the fourth day of practice, head coach Yeng Guiao promised to make a decision by Friday night if Clarkson would be included. He will first consult the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on the realistic possibility.
“Meron na akong idea pero—we still need to consult the coaching staff and SBP officials for the final lineup but malapit na. Nandoon na tayo sa dulo,” said Guiao.
Based on reports, Clarkson would need two get the approval of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA. Of the two, the NBA has yet to give their go signal.
“Maybe I will know tomorrow (Friday) kung magre-reserve ng isang slot,” said Guiao on including Clarkson. “Then, baka almost tapos na lineup kung ganoon.”
Guiao added that he will accept Clarkson’s inclusion in the Asiad roster and that his talent will certainly help the team which was only given 8 days to prepare before heading to Indonesia.
“Sa akin, ok lang. There’s a possibility. Kung wala namang possibility, bakit ka mag-iiwan ng isang slot. But if there is any possibility, I think it is worth the risk,” said Guiao.