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Sports

SBP lines up naturalized candidates

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
SBP lines up naturalized candidates
Jordan Clarkson.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines —  A pool of naturalized candidates is being assembled by SBP for international competitions where Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson is unavailable to suit up. Clarkson is recognized as a naturalized player by FIBA despite his Filipino lineage and doesn’t qualify as a local under the immersion exception because he resides and plays in the US. FIBA allows a national team to enlist only one naturalized player.

Two players are listed in Gilas’ pool but one was recently signed by the NBA, raising doubts on his availability. First is 6-10, 248-pound Micah Potter of Ohio State and the University of Wisconsin. The other is 6-10, 231-pound D.J. Wilson of the University of Michigan. Wilson, 26, was inked to a contract by the Toronto Raptors last July 8. If Wilson is cut before the NBA season opens, he could be available for Gilas.

Potter, 24, played three games on a 10-day contract with the Detroit Pistons last season. As a Wisconsin senior in 2020-21, he averaged 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in 31 games, including 20 starts. His four-year collegiate career stats included 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 49.6% field goal percentage, 38.1% 3-point percentage and 79.4% free throw percentage. 

Wilson, 26, wore the Michigan colors in 69 games, including 36 starts, over three years then suited up for Milwaukee, Houston and Toronto in five NBA seasons. He was the Bucks’ first round draft choice in 2017.

NBA players won’t be available for the FIBA World Cup qualifying windows in November and February so Gilas will require a replacement for Clarkson. Japan has a large pool of naturalized players who play in the B.League as locals. They include Luke Evans, Nick Fazekas, Ryan Rossiter, Gavin Edwards, Ira Brown, Michael Parker, Edward Morris and Thomas Kennedy. In the recent FIBA Asia Cup, among the naturalized players were ex-PBA imports Ricardo Ratliffe of Korea and Dwayne Chism of Bahrain, Dar Tucker of Jordan, Jonathan Arledge of Lebanon and Will Artino of Chinese-Taipei. Australia had two foreign-born players Thon Maker and Wani Lodu Swaku Lo Buluk of African descent who received passports before turning 16 to be classified as locals. Another Australian of African descent Wena David Okwera was born in Melbourne.

FIBA

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