The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is crossing its fingers that Filipino-American and NBA player Jordan Clarkson can still join the national basketball team competing in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
ESPN5 reached out to SBP president Al Panlilio who said they are still trying to get Clarkson, a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, on board. He, however, added several factors would have to favor the SBP in order for it to happen.
"We are working very hard to bring him in, but the stars have to align - he gets eligibility, the NBA clears him and we agree on a deal with him," Panlilio said in a short message.
In a report on July 26, Panlilio said Clarkson, who averaged 13.9 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in the 2017-18 regular season, was "on the list for clearance with Olympic Council of Asia and the Indonesia local organizing committee."
Should Clarkson get clearance to play in the Asiad, Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas had suggested a while back that he would be tapped as the Philippines' flag bearer in the opening ceremony.
The Philippine basketball squad is currently preparing for the multi-sport event after coming together barely a week ago.
The 14 players who were named to the national pool were Rain or Shine players Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, Chris Tiu and Maverick Ahanmisi, along with Magnolia's Paul Lee, Blackwater's JP Erram, San Miguel's Christian Standhardinger, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, TNT's Don Trollano, NLEX's Asi Taulava and Gilas Cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero.
National team coach Yeng Guiao said he has seen "a lot of improvements" since they started conducting daily practices since August 6. The group is set to leave for Indonesia on August 13.
The Philippines, was originally in Group B with Iran, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates, but will now compete in Group D with China and Kazakhstan.
Information from ESPN5's Noel Zarate was included in this report.