By JONAS TERRADO
There’s no reason for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to back off in convincing FIBA to allow Jordan Clarkson to suit up as a local player for Gilas Pilipinas.
SBP President Al Panlilio said similar situations from other countries have only heightened the federation’s resolve in continuing its quest to have the Utah Jazz super sub don the Gilas jersey without limitations.
“We continue to press it kasi we have gotten some information that some teams have players na may mga passport na nakuha beyond 16 for some reasons, and we wanna understand what just happened there,” Panlilio said during Noli Eala’s Power and Play program.
“So we’re looking at other situations that can help us and aid us,” added Panlilio.
FIBA has yet to rule with finality if Clarkson can play as a local or as a naturalized player, with the latter being the only option for the moment if the NBA Sixth Man of the Year can be available for Gilas duties.
Under FIBA rules, players are eligible to represent a country as a local provided he secures a passport before the age of 16, otherwise he’ll be considered as a naturalized player.
Countries can field just one naturalized player in any FIBA tournaments.
The SBP has long claims that Clarkson secured his Philippine passport at the age of 12.
Clarkson did make his Gilas debut in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia along with several PBA players who are not eligible under FIBA guidelines as locals, namely Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger.
Competitions like the Asian Games are implementing different eligibility rules as compared to FIBA.
FIBA Asia executive director Hagop Khajirian, however, has not ruled out possible eligibility changes, provided that proposals can be beneficial for basketball as a whole.
“But at the end of the day, these guys are Filipinos, diba? So we have to continue to push I guess our justification to FIBA,” Panlilio said.