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Clarkson savors Gilas experience

Jordan Clarkson still couldn’t forget his experience playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Speaking at the media day of the Utah Jazz on Tuesday (Manila time), the 30-year-old swingman stressed that he truly enjoyed the experience of playing for Gilas against Lebanon in Beirut and Saudi Arabia in Pasay City last month.

He said aside from representing the native country of his maternal grandmother, he also enjoyed bonding with his Filipino teammates.

“It was fun. We had a great time. I think it was a great experience. They got to see some stuff they haven’t seen before. It was just a cool experience,” Clarkson said, adding that playing for the national team squeezed out the competitive juice in him.

“It was crazy. In the arena (in Lebanon), I was getting booed as if I was the villain. After the game, there was so much love from the people of Lebanon. I’m trying to get back into the bus and people are rushing.”

“Same thing happened in the Philippines. After the game, we trying to get back into the bus and I was making my way signing autographs and taking pictures. It was all love.”

Clarkson made his presence felt when he fired 27 points and seven assists in his first FIBA game. Gilas, however, suffered a heartbreaking 81-85 loss to Wael Arakji and the Lebanese at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex.

Few days later, Clarkson bounced back, registering 23 points to lead Gilas to an 84-46 rout of Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Clarkson said the fourth window will definitely not be his last.

“I want to continue representing the country and the World Cup will be in August next year,” Clarkson said for the international media to here.

“We have a chance to win games and get into the Olympics someday.”

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