Clarkson out in Gilas Pilipinas lineup for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Image by Keith Allison/ CC BY 2.0
  • SBP chooses Andray Blatche over Jordan Clarkson for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
  • SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan says Blatche is the safer choice
  • He says it’s a long process to get Clarkson to play for Gilas

MANILA, Philippines – Los Angeles Lakers’ Filipino-American player Jordan Clarkson won’t be playing for Gilas Pilipinas when it competes at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament this July.

According to an article published by Smart Gilas Basketball, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Manny V. Pangilinan , popularly known as MVP disclosed that FIBA made them choose between using Andray Blatche and Jordan Clarkson, and they decided to stick with Blatche for good reasons.

He said during the FIBA OQT Press Conference: “When I was in Geneva last March, we talked about Jordan Clarkson again and I was told to choose between him and Andray Blatche.

The decision is to get Blatche back. We’re only talking about the FIBA OQT. Mas familiar si Andray sa system ni Tab and the players so given the short preparation time, I think the safer choice is Blatche.”

MVP explained that Blatche is already a naturalized Filipino, whereas if they choose Clarkson, they have to go through a long process and documentation, plus they have to go through several groups.

“We don’t know if whether he would have enough time to be here to prepare for the July event,” he added.

Gilas Pilipinas is among the 18 teams competing in the qualifying tournaments after it finished second to China at the FIBA Asia Championship.

A total of 18 teams will be joining the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments and they have been divided into three groups.

The Philippines is among the three countries chosen to host the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for Men and Women.

According to an article published by FIBA.comThe Executive Committee of FIBA announced on January 19 that the Philippines, Italy, and Serbia were granted hosting rights.

The tournaments are set to run from July 5 to 11 and only the winners of each of the groupings will qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.