SBP pursues Jordan Clarkson, continues talks with FIBA

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Al Panlilio wants Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson to be on the Gilas Pilipinas roster when the team heads to the FIBA World Cup in August.

Panlilio said he has been in contact with FIBA about Clarkson's status.

Clarkson played for Gilas for the first time last year during the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, helping the national squad place fifth.

The eligibility rules for the Asian Games are different from FIBA-sanctioned tournaments. To qualify for FIBA tournaments, a dual citizen must secure his passport from the country he will represent before turning 16.

Panlilio said in 2015 the SBP submitted documents to FIBA in its effort to prove that Clarkson, whose mother traces her roots to Angeles City, Pampanga, got his Philippine passport at age 12.

FIBA has not cleared Clarkson to play for the Philippines as a local.

"We still have to convince the FIBA that the current rule on eligibility doesn't address our constitutional rights where Filipinos are considered Filipinos by blood, unlike other countries where it's the place of birth. We exert all efforts to resolve this," Panlilio told ESPN5 Monday. "And regarding Clarkson and others being considered locals, that's the hope of the federation."

Panlilio said NorthPort's Fil-American guard Stanley Pringle and Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger have similar situations with Clarkson, a reason why both PBA stars are included in SBP's appeal to FIBA.

"That conversation even started with the late Sec Gen Patrick Baumann a long time ago. The case is true not only for Jordan Clarkson but for others who were born with at least one of the parents being Filipino at time of birth," said Panlilio.

The 26-year-old Jordan averaged 26 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the Asian Games.

He was given a special "one-time exemption" by the NBA to allow him to play in the Asian Games.

Gilas' win over Kazakhstan, coupled by South Korea's 84-72 win over Lebanon boosted the Philippines to a World Cup berth. The draw for the World Cup will take place on March 16 with play scheduled to begin in China on August 31.

Panlilio is also Meralco's team governor in the PBA.