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Jordan Clarkson finally arrives

August 8 ------ With just 17 days before the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the most important player in Gilas Pilipinas has finally arrived. Jordan Clarkson and his team landed in Manila.

“Feels great,” said the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, who was welcomed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas with the contingent being headed by deputy event director Erika Dy.

The last time Clarkson went back home was back in August for Window 5 of the Asian Qualifiers. The 6-foot-6 guard who plays for Utah averaged 25.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in two games played for Gilas. Clarkson originally committed to join Gilas six weeks before the global meet. However, it was only on the last weekend of July when Clarkson was able to gain clearance to join the national team.

Meanwhile, Gilas has figured in nine tuneup games in Estonia, Lithuania, and China since then. “We’ll see. I’m just excited with the way the team plays,” said Clarkson, who has constantly been in touch with Gilas head coach Chot Reyes for the past few weeks.

Gilas is expected to arrive in the country on Tuesday afternoon.

The first practice of Clarkson and the team will be on Wednesday as they prepare not just for the World Cup but also for a couple of friendlies with Mexico and Montenegro. Remaining in the Gilas pool are June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, Roger Pogoy, Dwight Ramos, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, Thirdy Ravena, Rhenz Abando, and AJ Edu. Kai Sotto is also expected to join Gilas practices this week

The Philippines is grouped with the Dominican Republic, Angola, and Italy.



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