YENG Guiao has included Fil-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson in the pool he submitted to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Monday.
Guiao said the 19-man training pool is where the final 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup will be culled.
"Nilagay na namin doon sa pool si Jordan Clarkson," said Guiao after the national team practice at the Meralco gym. "Were still hoping that a miracle happens."
"But at the same time, its also a back-up plan, knock on wood, and I hope nothing happens and no harm comes to Andray (Blatche) but at least we have options on the naturalized players," he added.
The national coach added the SBP is in constant communication with the camp of Clarkson, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Not me personally but the SBP," he said.
Guiao said the Fil-Am guard can make the team either as a local or as a naturalized player as what he was classified during last year's Asian Games in Jakarta.
The SBP is still awaiting the formal decision of FIBA to its appeal that the Cavaliers guard be considered as a local player for Gilas Pilipinas.
"We're still not giving up on the effort to play him as a local. But kung hindi naman, back-up siya ni Andray as naturalized," said Guiao.
"Pero hindi natin alam. Baka may milagro. Milagro na nga lang," added the national coach.
"Pero double purpose siya. Baka si Andray, baka may mangyari, kasi kailangan kung sino man yung kukunin mo dapat andun sa pool na sinubmit mo. Hindi mo puwedeng hatakin kahit sino kung wala doon sa pool. So the prudent thing to do is put him in the pool para sigurado."
That is also the reason why Guiao submitted a large pool of 18-19 players to the SBP for approval,
"Hindi ko alam ano yung maximum number pero [ang] Serbia 30 yung sinubmit nila. Yung Italy 18 din," Guiao pointed out. "So you can submit a pool and then the day before you can name 12. Pero usually lahat naman yan bago umalis ng bansa nila, alam na nila."