by Waylon Galvez
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jordan Clarkson has reportedly failed to secure a clearance from the NBA to join the Philippine team in the Asian Games, a source said Saturday.
Nonetheless, a separate source said the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), Philippine Olympic Committee and the Department of Foreign Affairs are making a joint appeal to the NBA to reconsider and give the Fil-Am Clarkson the green light to be part of national coach Yeng Guiao’s 12-man roster.
Clarkson is said to have rebooked three times already in an LA airport as he awaits word that he has been cleared to take the next flight to his mother’s birth country.
Guiao initially listed Clarkson as his 12th man with the official lineup submitted to the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee Friday night in time for yesterday’s delegation registration meeting.
According to reports, Clarkson has been placed on the trading block, probably with the Miami Heat and Fil-Am coach Erick Spoelstra as possible destination, throwing a kink at his suiting up for the Philippine team due to possible violation of NBA rules on the matter.
Guiao maintained though that there still is no official word yet from the SBP.
“I have not talked to SBP about the Clarkson issue,” said Guiao. “If it’s true, then we’ll try to replace him with Don Trollano, if the Asian Games organizing committee allows us to do that. I think there is an ongoing meeting now in Indonesia with regards to the lineups.”
As this developed, the national team may suffer further setback as Fil-German Christian Standhardiger appears to be facing eligibility issues with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
While the 6-foot-8 center is expected to get an accreditation from the Indonesia organizing committee, his status remains an issue under Article 53 of OCA.
“The requirement for players like him is that he’s either born in the country or a resident for (past) three years. He’s not, so that’s an issue,” said a source who asked not to be named.
The source said the same ruling barred naturalized Filipino player Andray Blatche from playing for the national team during the Incheon Asian Games in South Korea four years ago.
As a result, Marcus Douthit – another naturalized player – was recalled for active duty.
Guiao said they had considered Douthit again but the latter has not played the past several months.
The Rain or Shine-backed national team leaves for Indonesia today, four days before the Filipinos play Kazakhstan in a virtual do-or-die at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno gym in Jakarta.