EFFORTS are underway to make Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson eligible to play for Team Pilipinas in the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup.
PBA chairman and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chairman Ricky Vargas made that assurance before mediamen during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel Manila on Tuesday.
Vargas was hesitant to go into specifics about the process, especially in light of a statement made by SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan that Fiba doesn't respond well to 'pressure' in such cases.
But the Philippine Olympic Committee chief only wants to assure fans that something is being done.
“SBP is quietly working with Fiba,” said Vargas. “We are quietly working and seeing to it that we can get Clarkson to the worlds. That would be fantastic.”
“Quietly, MVP and (SBP president) Al Panlilio are working on Jordan Clarkson,” said Vargas.
Clarkson is being eyed to play for Team Pilipinas in the Fiba Basketball World Cup as a local, with Andray Blatche already assured a place in the squad as a naturalized player.
The Cleveland Cavaliers guard had played for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, where he led the country to a fifth-place finish.
However, the Asiad has a different set of eligibility requiremens compared to Fiba, which requires dual citizens to have acquired the passport of the nation they want to represent before turning 16.
Clarkson’s inclusion should be a big boost especially with the Philippines bracketed in Group D with Serbia, Italy, and Angola.