The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will meet with the FIBA central board to lobby for NBA star Jordan Clarkson to be eligible to play for Gilas Pilipinas as a local.

/ 7 February 2022

The federation is making its move in hopes of including the Utah Jazz guard in the national team for the FIBA World Cup in 2023.

SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, to meet with the board about Clarkson’s eligibility.

“Not only are we making moves, we’re making very serious moves,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes told Radyo5’s Power and Play with Noli Eala. 

“Chairman MVP is planning a trip to Geneva in March or April to personally lobby to allow Jordan to play as a local and that’s how serious we are.”

Clarkson failed to meet FIBA’s requirement that only players who obtained passports before the age of 16 be considered locals for the countries they wish to represent.

However, exceptions can be made, as in the case of Greg Slaughter, who was cleared to play as a local in 2018 despite failing to obtain a Philippine passport before turning 16.

Clarkson last donned the colors of Gilas Pilipinas as a naturalized player during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta where they placed fifth.

“Hopefully, we can have him play as a local so that he can play together with Ange (Kouame),” said Reyes.

“And then, other than that, ang hirap na mag-naturalize. You know the process. Hindi naman ganoon kabilis iyon.”