Philippines national coach Yeng Guiao and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) took a risk by including Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson on the team's 12-man Asian Games roster, but it appears that risk did not pay off as an NBA source tells ESPN that Clarkson will not play in the upcoming tournament.
Clarkson, a Filipino-American, will however be cleared to play for the country in the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament, in which the Philippines has two games scheduled in September before the NBA season begins in October, according to the NBA source.
Clarkson had been part of a 12-man roster that also includes Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Poy Erram, Christian Standhardinger, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, and Asi Taulava. TNT's Don Trollano and Gilas cadets Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras failed to make the final cut.
SBP officials were still working late Friday on obtaining the necessary permits that would have allowed Clarkson to represent the Philippines in Indonesia. According to Guiao, who had not received word from the NBA or the Asiad organizers when speaking to ESPN5 late Friday, they were also looking to fly Clarkson to Manila before the team heads to Jakarta on August 12.
"Travel arrangements are being made for him to come over," Guiao said. "We're trying to get him to arrive before Sunday so he can at least join the Sunday morning practice. If not, he can go straight to Indonesia."
Knowing that Clarkson might not be cleared to play, the team's backup plan was to try to insert Trollano onto the roster. "If the organizers will allow it, we'll add [Trollano] so we'll have 12 players. If not, it's okay that we only have 11," Guiao said.
The Philippines is scheduled to play its first game against Kazakhstan on Thursday, August 16. Despite a race against time, Guiao was not worried about integrating Clarkson into the team if that plan had come together.
"If you'll have someone as good as Clarkson, maybe that's a good problem blending him in," said Guiao. "I'm sure with his experience and his IQ, he'll easily learn the system. Our system is very simple."
Information from ESPN's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.