MANILA, Philippines – Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson has given up hopes to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship on Sept. 23-Oct. 3 in Changsha, China.
But the LA Laker guard said he’ll just cheer for the Nationals, hoping they achieve their goal to bring the Philippines back to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year.
“I’m very disappointed I won’t be able to play with the Gilas national team during the FIBA Asia Championship. We can all agree, the 12 men selected to represent the Philippines have earned the right, and any continued efforts on my part would not be fair to the team,” Clarkson said in a statement.
“The Filipino fans are some of the most passionate in the world and many of them are Lakers’ supporters. I want to sincerely thank all of the fans who sent me letters of encouragement during these last three months about Gilas,” he also said.
“I trust my team of advisors as they all worked very hard to get terms prepared that would afford me the opportunity to be part of Gilas, if approved. I’d like to say thank you for all the people that worked diligently in an attempt to make a dream become reality,” he added.
Clarkson mentioned the SBP management led by Manny V. Pangilinan, Ricky Vargas and Patrick Gregorio, Maria Espaldon of East-West Private and Team Clarkson.
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Clarkson also mentioned the support extended by his father Mike and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.
“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. My dad told me to follow my heart,” he said.
“I spoke to the Lakers general manager, and he shared the same sentiments about representing an entire country and supported my decision either way,” he added.