GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin is reminding everyone not to get way ahead of themselves as far as Jordan Clarkson’s appearance in the national team practice is concerned.
While admitting his excitement to see the Filipino-American guard, Baldwin said Clarkson’s participation in Gilas’ training for the first time on Wednesday night at the Meralco gym was not an assurance that he’ll play for the team.
“It was great to see him,” Baldwin said. “I’m like every Gilas fan when I see a player of his caliber walk in the gym. It’s exciting.”
“But I think the most important thing is not to get carried away right now whether Jordan’s going to play or not,” he added, citing the Los Angeles Lakers guard’s status with Fiba.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has also yet to secure Clarkson’s release from the Lakers and the NBA.
Team officials disallowed the media to interview Clarkson, who took part in some of Gilas' drills, but didn't join the scrimmage, although he spent extra work with his shot after practice.
“The thing we should all be excited about is he’s here because he wants to be here,” Baldwin said. “There’s nobody with a gun to Jordan’s head. He wants to play for the Philippines. That’s about as exciting an announcement as there could be.”
“I guess the only announcement that could be better is that he can play for the Philippines,” he added. “But we still have to wait for that.”