JAKARTA – National coach Yeng Guiao said the entry of Jordan Clarkson in the Philippine team won't automatically turn the squad into a gold-medal contender in the 2018 Asian Games.
Clarkson was finally given the clearance by the NBA to play for the Philippines in the quadrennial multisports spectacle, but the Cleveland Cavaliers guard will not make it in time for Thursday morning’s match against Kazakhstan.
Guiao, however, said it will still be a process to fit Clarkson into the scheme of things for the so-called Gilastopainters as the team had already prepared without the former Los Angeles Lakers cager back in Manila.
“If Jordan Clarkson is playing, that’s going to be a big help,” said Guiao. “But it will also take a little time to jell him in and fit him into the system of the team. We will see. That’s a good problem.”
Clarkson, as of posting time, is already on his way to Jakarta with a brief layover in Singapore following a long flight from Los Angeles.
Guiao will have the luxury of time, however, to inculcate Clarkson in the system as the Philippines’ next game after Kazakhstan will be on August 21 against China.
Guiao said it is an honor to have the opportunity to coach an NBA talent in Clarkson in the Asian Games.
“It’s a privilege. But at the same time, there are a lot of expectations. It feels really satisfying to be able to coach such a talent and at the same time, you have to look at it as a challenge not only to bring out the best in him but the best out of the team,” Guiao said.