FIBA finds common ground as SBP pushes for local Clarkson status
SBP is pushing for FIBA to identify Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson as a local player instead of a naturalized player ahead of the 2023 World Cup
MANILA, Philippines — Even though Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) want Jordan Clarkson to play for Gilas Pilipinas as a local, FIBA needs to find common ground for their eligibility rules first.
SBP President Al Panlilio says more work needs to be done as the federation pushes FIBA to identify the Utah Jazz star as a homegrown player instead of a naturalized player. approaching the 2023 World Cup.
“They are trying to find a rule that can apply to all the countries that are part of FIBA. This is something we hope we can work on,” Panlilio said on Thursday, February 24.
“It is a wish for us to identify him as Filipino because he is Filipino.”
Clarkson can fit as a local for the national team, but not in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments.
The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year donned the national colors at the 2018 Asian Games due to more relaxed eligibility rules, helping the team clinch a fifth-place finish.
Proving his mettle as a legitimate NBA talent, the Filipino-American averaged 26 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists despite having limited practice time with the team.
In FIBA events, however, Clarkson fills the only spot reserved for naturalized players due to the eligibility rule that requires dual citizens to acquire the passport of the country they wish to represent before turning 16.
It was the same rule followed when Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger took turns as naturalized players from the Philippines in the Asian qualifier for the 2019 World Cup.
Pringle and Standhardinger, however, teamed with Clarkson at the 2018 Asian Games. The duo also won gold for the country at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“It’s always been our wish, but obviously we have to work with FIBA on that one. It’s not just an issue in the Philippines, it’s really a FIBA policy that’s there- down,” Panlilio said.
For now, the SBP can only cross its fingers as time flies on the Philippines co-hosting the World Cup with Japan and Indonesia in August next year. – Rappler.com