Clarkson hopes he can suit up for Gilas in Olympic elims
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – There is hope Gilas Pilipinas will be led by Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament that the country will host at the MOA Arena in Pasay City in July.

Clarkson still shows keen interest in playing for the Philippines, hoping things are ironed out soon so he can suit up with Team Phl in its final attempt to make the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

During his Lakers Voice chat on Thursday (yesterday in Manila), the 6-foot-5 Laker guard divulged they’re in the process of trying to represent the Philippines in the Olympic qualifier.

“We’re working on it right now. Gotta go through some stuff with FIBA, so we’re trying to make sure that happens,” said Clarkson.

“Hopefully, the timing is right and I get a chance to do that. I definitely want to compete and try to get the guys to Rio. That would be an awesome experience,” he added.

Clarkson and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas initially worked for his inclusion in the Team Phl in the recent FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China.

However, the FIBA Asia schedule ran in conflict with important events of the Los Angeles Lakers.

He has had a bonding session with the Nationals and even flew to Taipei to cheer for Gilas Pilipinas during the Jones Cup.

If ever, naturalized player Andray Blatche and Clarkson would banner Team Phl versus five other teams competing in the Manila OQT.

Two other OQTs are set in Italy and in Serbia. The champions in the three events nail the last berths in the Rio Olympics.

In his contract-signing season, the former University of Missouri standout has continued to improve, jacking up his average from 11.9 to 15.2 points per game.

“I’m in the moment right now. It’s just a blessing to be in the NBA and be around these guys, especially guys like Kobe (Bryant) on his way out,” said Clarkson.

“This year I’ve kind of stepped into a different role. I’m playing off the ball more. My shots are coming in different places. It’s just something I’m trying to get used to,” he added.             

ACIRC ANDRAY BLATCHE AND CLARKSON ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP CLARKSON CLARKSON AND THE SAMAHANG BASKETBOL GILAS PILIPINAS JANEIRO OLYMPICS JONES CUP JORDAN CLARKSON NBSP TEAM PHL
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