THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Tuesday named a 12-man lineup without Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson for the Gilas Pilipinas team that will take part in the 2015 Fiba Asia championships in Changsha, China in two weeks time.
The SBP released the list of 12 names picked by national coach Tab Baldwin that were submitted to Fiba Asia in time for the deadline set by organizers, with Jimmy Alapag, Aldrech Ramos, Gary David and Troy Rosario the final cuts in what had originally been an 18-man pool.
Another pool member, Moala Tautuaa, also gave way to naturalized player Andray Blatche who rejoined the team after a week's stay in the US to attend the funeral of an uncle.
The SBP admitted it failed to secure Clarkson's clearance from Fiba as well as the nod from his mother team in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers, in time for the September 23-October 3 showcase in Changsha, China.
"We did all that we could to have Jordan Clarkson join Gilas for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship but we are saddened to report that we are not able to beat the deadline to secure the necessary clearances on time," said the SBP in a statement released to media outlets on Tuesday.
With his availability hanging, Clarkson himself feared his late addition in the team may become 'a distraction.'
That left Baldwin to pick from the original list of 16 players to make up the Final 12, with the selection of JC Intal over the veteran Gary David about the only surprise in Baldwin's selection process.
Intal is now set to make his Fiba Asia debut along with wonder boys Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva, who gave a good account of themselves in Gilas' second-place finish behind Iran in the 37th Jones Cup lasty week.
Also in the team are Fiba Asia veterans Asi Taulava, Sonny Thoss, Ranidel de Ocampo, Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Dondon Hontiveros and Gabe Norwood as well as longtime Gilas cadet mainstay Matt Ganuelas Rosser.
Alapag came out of retirement to join this Gilas batch but his return has hampered by a quad injury, leaving a spot open for Rosser as a combo guard who can spell point guards Castro and Romeo.