GILAS Pilipinas is set to gain a moral boost as Fil-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson is gracing the unveiling of the new national team jersey sponsored by Nike on Saturday afternoon.
Multiple sources confirmed the development on Friday, reviving the excitement among hoop fans in the wake of the injury bug plaguing the squad that’s preparing for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Clarkson posted a one-word “Manila” tweet late Thursday night hinting at his arrival. The Los Angeles Lakers rising star is arriving on Friday night at 8 p.m. and is staying over the weekend.
However, his chances of playing for Gilas in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament which Manila will host from July 5-10 are nil and none. Clarkson's papers that could enable him to play as a local for Gilas have yet to be processed with Fiba.
Currently a restricted free agent with the Lakers, Clarkson has furnished the SBP with papers showing he has acquired a Philippine passport before turning 15 - a key requirement by Fiba - but the documents have yet to be cleared by the world governing body.
In fact, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) officials confirmed the governing body had nothing to do with Clarkson' arrival, which was arranged solely by Nike, of which the Lakers guard is an endorser.
Andray Blatche is also set to make his first appearance for the squad as the naturalized Filipino center is arriving at 11 p.m. via Korean Air.
Unconfirmed reports said Clarkson is also slated to make an appearance in the Ateneo-La Salle preseason showdown in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup on Sunday.