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NLEX parades NBA veteran

NLEX will be parading a seasoned National Basketball Association campaigner when it competes in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup starting 21 September.

The Road Warriors are expecting the arrival of Earl Clark on Friday to reinforce their bid for a deep playoff run in the first staging of the mid-season tournament since 2019.

Clark is coming with a stellar resume.

After getting selected with the 14th overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in 2009, the former Louisville Cardinal played significant roles with teams like the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks.

He also saw action in the NBA G League for Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Delaware 87ers before packing his bags for China, Turkey and Spain.

His last stop was the Cariduros de Fajardo in Puerto Rico, where he averaged 15.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists while teaming up with another former PBA import in Terrence Jones.

Few days ago, he registered 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocks to power Trilogy to a 51-35 win over Power to claim the Big3 title together with Isiah Briscoe and former TNT Tropang Giga import Glen Rice Jr. under head coach Stephen Jackson.

He will be the second former NBA player to play for the Road Warriors after they tapped KC McDaniels in the previous Governors’ Cup.

McDaniels, who played for the Houston Rockets from 2015 to 2017, anchored the Road Warriors to a top seed finish in the eliminations, but his departure in the middle of the playoffs led to a semifinal exit over eventual champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao made the confirmation, saying that Clark’s versatility, defensive tenacity and NBA experience will be a big boost to their campaign.

“Yes, he will be our import,” Guiao, a defense-minded mentor, said in a message to Daily Tribune.

“He will be arriving on Friday. He was shortlisted from recommendations of agents.”

Clark was supposed to see action in an exhibition match with French powerhouse Asvel Lyon early next month, but the French Embassy scratched off the event due to the unavailability of Gilas Pilipinas.

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