Jordan Clarkson staying ready for Gilas Pilipinas stint

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Jordan Clarkson Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas guard Jordan Clarkson celebrates during a game against Saudi Arabia in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Fiba

MANILA, Philippines — Staying focused on Utah Jazz’s ongoing 2022-23 NBA season, Jordan Clarkson admitted he wasn’t in touch with Gilas Pilipinas lately but he is looking forward to playing for his country when it hosts the 2023 Fiba World Cup in August.

“I haven’t really talked much with anybody but I know that’s in the future plans of what’s coming up this summer,” said Clarkson during a virtual media availability with Philippine media on Friday.

The Filipino-American guard, who committed to play for Gilas in the World Cup, added he is not stopping his preparations for the national team, despite leading the Jazz in the middle of the NBA season.

“I’m getting prepared for that with my family, my team. I’m excited for that,” he said.

The NBA star, who played twice in the August window of the Asian Qualifiers, assured he will arrive in the country in time for the national team’s preparation for its historic hosting of Fiba’s most anticipated event.

“As of right now, there’s nothing much communication has been happening. But we know that’s on the horizon. We start to prepare to get everything down logistics-wise to get over there and get ready to compete,” Clarkson said.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced last year that the Utah Jazz guard has committed to join Gilas Pilipinas six weeks before the World Cup.

Clarkson averaged 25.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in his first two games with Gilas in the fourth window, losing to Lebanon, 85-81, in Beirut before bouncing back at home with an 84-46 blowout win over Saudi Arabia.

For now, the former Sixth Man of the Year winner focuses on his ninth NBA season, embracing a leadership role for the revamped Jazz, who are currently No.9 in the Western Conference with a 21-23 record.

The 30-year-old guard has been thriving as a starter for Utah, averaging 20.7 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in 32 minutes of playing time after playing 43 games.

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