Gilas Pilipinas missed the chance in having Jordan Clarkson in its roster for the FIBA Asia Championship, but coach Tab Baldwin believes the Filipino-American NBA player will be able to join them in future tournaments.
Baldwin also said that Clarkson’s non-inclusion to their 12-man lineup won’t affect their preparations for the FIBA Asia joust as he did not directly participate during their practice.
“We never incorporated him in what we’re doing,” Baldwin said in an interview with ABS-CBN.
“We just feel really great that he likes to be with us, that we met him and spent some time with him,” he added. “So we think there’s a future there.”
Clarkson was disappointed that he won’t be able to join Gilas when they go up against Asia’s top team in the regional basketball tournament.
He said he even talked with his father about representing his fellow Pinoys in the upcoming FIBA Asia Championship.
“Upon my return from supporting Gilas in the Jones Cup, I had a great talk with my dad. I told him of my experiences with the team and how passionate I was about representing an entire country,” he said. “My dad told me to follow my heart.”
The 23-year-old said he also spoke with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak about Gilas.
“He shared the same sentiments about representing an entire country and supported my decision either way,” he said.
However, he was not included to the national team lineup due to schedule conflicts between the FIBA Asia tournament and the LA Lakers’ training camp.
The FIBA Asia tournament, which will be hosted by China, kicks off on September 23. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and final phases will run from October 1-3.
This will run in conflict with the Lakers’ media day on September 28 and the Lakers’ training camp in Hawaii on September 29 to October 7.