JORDAN Clarkson fanned the euphoria over the Philippines' qualification for the 2019 Fiba World Cup on Tuesday, saying he hopes to be with his Gilas 'brothers' in China.
The Fil-American guard of the Cleveland said he's 'hyped' over victories over Kazakhstan and Qatar in the sixth and final window of the qualifiers that enabled the Philippines to punch a ticket to the Fiba World Cup as the best fourth-placed team.
Clarkson, who saw action for Team Pilipinas in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, expressed interest in joining the team again in China in August.
“Congrats to my bros and the country. Such an honor for the country qualifying for the World Cup. So hyped,” Clarkson wrote in an Instagram post where he had a photo of himself wearing the Pilipinas jersey.
Clarkson added: “Hope to see you guys in China!!!”
A clamor to have both Andray Blatche and Clarkson to backstop the Philippine team in the World Cup from August 31 to Sept. 15 has snowballed over the last two days since a famous 93-75 win over Kazakhstan in Astana.
Such a prospect, however, isn't easy to pull off since Fiba only allows one naturalized player per nation and Clarkson has yet to be recognized by the world governing body as a local despite his clear Filipino lineage.
Under current Fiba rules, only players who acquired passports before turning 16 are eligible to take part as locals.
For a Blatche-Clarkson team-up to happen, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) must be able to convince Fiba to either grant Clarkson a special exemption or change its eligibility rules.
SBP president Al Panlilio said the association 'will do everything it can' to have Clarkson join the team in China.