Filipino-American NBA star Jordan Clarkson, who currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, congratulated the Philippine National Men’s Basketball for qualifying in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Feb. 26, Clarkson also expressed hopes of being with Gilas Pilipinas in China, where the World Cup will run from August 31 to September 15.
He also posted a picture of him in the uniform of the Philippine national team.
“Congrats to my bros and the country such a honor for the country, qualifying for the world cup, so hyped!!! Hope to see you guys in China,” Clarkson said in his post.
Meanwhile, per report from the Agence France-Presse, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Alfredo Panlilo admitted that they are trying to convince the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to recognize Clarkson as a Filipino citizen.
Once considered as a Filipino citizen by FIBA, Clarkson can play as a local player of the Philippine team.
Currently, the international basketball association will only allow Clarkson to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas as a naturalized player since he obtained his Filipino passport after reaching 16-years old.
FIBA also restricts teams to only one naturalized player, with former NBA star Andray Blatche, currently filling up the said spot in the Philippine team.
“Everyone is working on the matter and we will do everything we can to make it happen,” Panlilo told the the Agence France-Presse.
Clarkson had his first stint with the Philippine national team during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. He also served as the Philippine delegation’s flag-bearer during the opening ceremony of the multi-sports event.