MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas will have a little over two weeks to train with the full roster including NBA player Jordan Clarkson before the 2023 Fiba World Cup in Manila.
Clarkson, who will be the country’s naturalized player for the global meet, will be joining Gilas Pilipinas when the team returns from China on August 8.
National coach Chot Reyes, however, said assured that Clarkson is in “pretty good shape,” which eases the team’s concern heading into the Fiba World Cup.
“He has assured me that he’s in pretty good shape. He’s been working out, he’s working on his skills so I think the number one thing that I can expect is that he’s in (basketball) shape,” said Reyes in Saturday’s episode of Noli Eala’s Power & Play podcast.
“We’ve been talking and we’re in constant communication. We’re talking about our offense, our concepts, our plans, and what his role is going to be.
Due to visa problems, Clarkson was unable to join Gilas’ pocket tournament in China. Instead, the Utah Jazz guard will meet with the team in Manila.
“He had a problem with his visa so he’s go straight to Manila to meet us on August 8… Jordan will meet us there in Manila, and then we’ll continuously practice from the 9th, moving forward.”
Currently, Gilas Pilipinas split its first two games in the Heyuan WUS International Basketball Tournament.
The Nationals, 1-1, will return to action this Sunday looking for payback against Senegal, which beat them 72-64, on Friday night.
Moreover, the veteran tactician is confident that Clarkson will mesh well with the final lineup, which has yet to be announced, for the opening day.
“He knows what we want from him, and I think he’s up for the challenge,” Reyes said.
The Philippines open its Fiba World Cup run against Dominican Republic at Philippine Arena on August 25.