SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) officials admit they were taken aback by a news report quoting the father of Jordan Clarkson as saying that the Fil-American guard won't be playing for Gilas Pilipinas.
Philstar.com has reported that Mike Clarkson, in an email, said his son playing for the Philippines in the Fiba Asia championships 'isn't a logical or sound business decision' considering he is entering his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA.
“Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse as he prepares for rigors of the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season and heightened performance expectations,” he added in an email to the website.
Contacted for comment, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said it was the first time he heard about the pronouncement of Clarkson's dad and needs to confirm with the Lakers guard's manager.
"That's a surprise," he said.
Barrios also admitted that the SBP has never dealt with Clarkson's father on matters pertaining to the 23-year-old's possible stint with the Philippine team, saying they often talk to his handlers.
The news came as a dampener for Filipino fans, the morning after Clarkson, a member of the NBA All-Rookie Team last season, joined the national team in practice for the first time.
Barrios has been very careful in arranging Clarkson's stint with Gilas, knowing there are hurdles that need to be ironed out, from his clearance from the Lakers to his eligibility to play for the Philippines under stringent Fiba rules.
However, the SBP official clearly didn't anticipate this problem.
Still, Barrios said there is no question about Clarkson's desire to play for the Philippines.