How will Fiba classify Jordan Clarkson in Gilas?
The question now is will he be considered as a local or a naturalized player?
It's the biggest mystery that the federation left after releasing a lengthy statement on Friday which called for unity from its stakeholders roughly a year away from the global hoops expo.
"Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson is sure to play in the World Cup and will likely join Gilas in the fourth window against Lebanon in Beirut on Aug. 25 and Saudi Arabia at the MOA Arena on Aug. 29 but won’t be available for the two other windows and the SEA Games," it wrote.
Gilas head coach and program director Chot Reyes earlier bared the availability of the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the Year awardee for the national team as he expects to suit up for the fourth window of the 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers this August.
The fifth window this November, the sixth window on February next year, and the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May are all ruled out for Clarkson with the NBA season still ongoing by then.
His inclusion should certainly be a big morale boost for the Philippines with the 6-foot-4 gunner last donning the national tri-colors back in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
But that may come with a price.
If Fiba has yet to clear Clarkson as a local, that means that Gilas won't have the luxury of having someone like Ange Kouame or any of our naturalized player options down low once the World Cup rolls on in August next year.
Clarkson will occupy the designated naturalized player spot for the Philippines, much like how Christian Standhardinger, Mo Tautuaa, and Stanley Pringle have done in the past.
This August window should offer a bit of a clarity for Gilas as this may dictate on what really Clarkson's status is with regards to Fiba-sanctioned tournaments.
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