Philippine men's national basketball team pool in huddle during their training for the 2018 Asian Games, Friday night at the Meralco Gym Photo/Denison Rey A. Dalupang
Clarkson included in Guiao's final Asiad lineup
Denison Rey A. Dalupang ( - August 10, 2018 - 9:50pm

Updated as of Aug. 10, 11:59 a.m.

MANILA, Philippines — National team head coach Yeng Guiao revealed on Friday night with finality his lineup for the 2018 Asian Games’ basketball tournament which comes off wraps on Aug. 16.

The tough-talking tactician, who helmed the program in 2009 in the bid in the FIBA Asia Championship, opted for the current core of the Rain or Shine team he previously coached. He is formally reunited with Maverick Ahanmisi, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, and Chris Tiu.

Guiao also gets to work alongside James Yap and Asi Taulava anew, members of the aformentioned ’09 squad. The Fil-Tongan big man still plays for coach over at NLEX Road Warriors. 

Paul Lee, who sat out the training at the Meralco Gym due to a sore knee, gets to rejoin his first mentor in the pros. 

Blackwater’s JP Erram, San Miguel Beer’s versatile rookie Christian Standhardinger, NorthPort’s (formerly GlobalPort) Stanley Pringle made the cut.

Rounding out the lineup is Clevaland Cavaliers Filipino-American guard Jordan Clarkson, whose eligibility and travel papers are still being worked out.

Guiao explained Clarkson's inclusion shortly after the reveal:

Don Trollano was supposed to be in the lineup but Guiao said he's willing to take a risk by putting Clarkson's name on the list.

"Kung makakahabol, kung papayagan ng organizers, ihahabol natin para 12. Kung hindi naman din na 11 players, OK lang," Guiao explained. "Sabi ko nga kanina, may mga travel arrangements na na ginagawa. Tina-try natin na maparating siya rito before Sunday, para at least baka makasama namin siya that morning. Kung hindi naman, direcho nalang Indonesia."

Before Satuday midnight, reported that the 26-year-old NBA cager has been allowed by the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee to suit up for the Philippine team in the quadrennial tournament. One last hurdle in a clearance by the US league remain for Clarkson.

Asked about the possibility of "messing up" the chemistry on which the current line up leans heavily on, Guiao said it's a problem he'll happily deal with.

"Eh kung sing-galing naman ni Clarkson makakasama mo, siguro that’s a good problem blending him in. I’m sure with his eperience, his (basketball) I.Q., madali niyang makukuha sistema. Napakasimple lang naman sistema natin. We have a few days from the time we leave Sunday hanggang 16, may mga 4 days pa tayo."

"Tignan natin pano natin siya maje-jell sa practice," he closed.

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