Jordan Clarkson is eyeing no less than a win with Gilas Pilipinas.
After arriving from a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Manila on Friday, the Utah Jazz cager said he was glad to finally go back home after a long while.
Of course, the 6-foot-4 swingman was on point when he described his mission with the Nationals in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this week.
Clarkson will have his first game on home soil when Gilas battle Saudi Arabia on 29 August at the Mall of Asia.
“(Feels) awesome (and) ready. Just win, let’s get it,” Clarkson said while getting crowded by numerous fans at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The Filipino-American cager already joined the team practices last night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig, joining another reinforcement in 7-foot-3 big man Kai Sotto.
Clarkson will provide extra firepower on Gilas’ since he last played for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
He averaged 26 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists and steered Gilas to a fifth place finish, the country’s highest placing since 2002.
But now, he will have to mesh with new faces in Dwight Ramos, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena.
His inclusion to the pool is also a glimpse of how the team would look like in the prestigious World Cup co-hosted by the country, Japan and Indonesia next year.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas made it clear that it is considering Clarkson to become the team’s naturalized player after its failed bid to clear his eligibility to play as a local.
Despite his late arrival, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios is confident that the Los Angeles native will quickly make an impact and develop chemistry with his high basketball IQ.
“Not worried about Clarkson, he has a very fast learning curve,” Barrios said.