JORDAN Clarkson said he is on standby mode in case he finally gets the green light to play as a local for Gilas Pilipinas in next month’s FIBA World Cup in China.
Despite the uncertainty of his status, Clarkson said he continues to work out and be ready to suit up for the national team.
“I’m just standing ready, working out. If I get the opportunity, it will happen,” said Clarkson as interviewed by SPIN.ph and GMA News' LA-based stringer Jhay Otamias on Sunday during the 3rd Annual 4-on-4 Half Court Basketball Tournament he himself hosted at the Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles.
Clarkson has been included by Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao in the 19-man pool submitted to Fiba for the coming World Cup in the hope that he can be inserted in the regular lineup in the event the world governing body decides at the last minute to finally classify him as a local.
FIBA still considers the 27-year-old Clarkson as a naturalized player although the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has a pending appeal before the Mies, Switzerland-based cage body.
Clarkson said he will understand if his status with Fiba remains status quo for the World Cup.
“If not, it is what it is,” said the Cleveland Cavaliers guard. “I’ll just suit up for another time.”
Clarkson played for the national team as a naturalized player last year during the Asian Games in Indonesia where Gilas finished a fighting fifth place.
Unlike the Asiad which allowed Clarkson to play for Gilas on the basis of his Philippine passport, Fiba mandates dual citizens to secure passports of the country they want to represent before turning 16.
Clarkson said he’s ready to see action for Gilas anytime.
“I’m just being patient and standing ready,” he said.
Other than the 4-on-4 tournament which he hosted for the benefit of veterans and a child’s dream, Clarkson is also making himself ready for the coming NBA season, his third with the Cavaliers.
“I’ve just been working out and getting ready for the season, preparing. I’m just trying to have another great year, another great season,” he said.