TAIPEI - Gilas Pilipinas remained hopeful that Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson will be allowed to play for the Philippines in the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship by the Los Angeles Lakers after a meeting with team president Jeanie Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) vice-chairman Ricky Vargas said the two LA executives have no objections to Clarkson playing for Gilas in the long term and have asked for time to 'talk to the Lakers coaches' with regards to the 6-5 guard suit for the entire duration of the Fiba Asia less than three weeks from now.
The clearance from coaches is necessary since Clarkson will have to skip the Lakers' media day on September 28 as well as the first three days of training camp if he is to join Gilas for the whole duration of the Changsha, China tournament set from September 23 to October.
Under a previous statement the Lakers made through spokesman John Black, Clarkson can only be available for Gilas through the first two stages of the Fiba Asia tournament serving as Asia's qualifier for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.
"It's still a work in progress but with better clarity," said Vargas, who made the whirlwind trip to Los Angeles with former PBA chairman Pato Gregorio, precisely to thresh out issues with regards to Clarkson's availability not only with the Lakers but also with the player's father.
Vargas said they will continue to discuss with the Lakers Clarkson's availability for the knockout stages of the Fiba Asia, which will clash with the LA media day as well as the opening of the team's training camp in Hawaii from September 29 to October 7.
"They requested some time to talk to the Lakers coaches," Vargas said.
Vargas said they also had a 'positive meeting' with Clarkson's dad Mike, who, he added, "is appreciative of the reception his son received from Filipino basketball fans and from the Gilas team."
The elder Clarkson "asked to review the arrangement (between Jordan and Gilas) and wanted assurance that we secure the Lakers' permission to allow him to skip three days of training camp," Vargas added.
At the same time, Vargas bared that SBP executive director in currently in the Fiba headquarters trying to sort out issues surrounding Clarkson's eligibility to play for the Philippine team.
Vargas and Gregorio, who left this city on Thursday, are set to arrive in Manila on Sunday.
"We go home bringing with us a more positive feeling and a commitment from the Lakers and the parents that Jordan will be part of the Gilas program in the long term," said Vargas.