THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said it is not giving up on Jordan Clarkson in the wake of reports that the Fil-American guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers failed to get NBA clearance to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2018 Asian Games.
The SBP said it is working with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the government through the Department of Foreign Affairs in appealing the NBA to let Clarkson play "for the sake of 100 million Filipinos."
The country's governing body for basketball insisted that it remained hopeful that the Cavs guard can suit up for Gilas until the NBA comes out with a final position on the matter.
SBP president Al Panlilio said the federation hasn’t gotten any word from the NBA hierarchy regarding the matter.
“We haven’t gotten any official word,” he said in a message on Saturday.
On Friday, national coach Yeng Guiao included Clarkson in his 12-man lineup for the Indonesia showcase. Soon after a confirmation came that the Fil-Am guard has been cleared to play by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee.
According to SBP officials, Clarkson has already rebooked his flight three times while waiting for the go-signal from the NBA. His parents are sad over the delay while his American agent is very much onboard, officials added.
"JC is ready to jump into a plane once cleared," an SBP official said.
While awaiting for the final decision, Filipino fans have mounted an appeal to the NBA,including 15-year-old Andre Ascalon who sent an open letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding the Clarkson matter.
“I’m hoping that you will consider not only my spirit, but the spirit of every Filipino kid who wants to shine for their country when they grow up,” part of his letter read.
“Jordan Clarkson will be our new light that will guide us through this storm,” he added. “We need your help Mr. Silver, we need that light, just help us and him. Thank you very much.”
Here's the letter in full: