Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz dribbles the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 28, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (AFP)

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will try to once again convince FIBA to allow NBA cager Jordan Clarkson play as a local in time for the country’s hosting of the 2023 World Cup.

Returning Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes bared that SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan hopes to travel to the FIBA headquarters in Switzerland sometime in the few months in a bid to settle the long-standing issue of Clarkson’s status.

“Not only are we making moves, but we are making serious moves,” Reyes said in the program Power and Play.

“Chairman MVP is planning a trip to Geneva in March or April to really personally lobby to allow Jordan to play as a local. And that’s how serious we are,” added Reyes, without giving further details.

FIBA has so far listed Clarkson as a player eligible to suit up as a naturalized player for competitions like the World Cup, although the SBP maintained that the Utah Jazz super sub had secured a passport when he was 12.

Players can suit up for a country in FIBA tournaments as a local, provided they were able to get a passport before turning 16.

The world governing body has only allowed one naturalized player per team in tournaments, and Gilas currently has Ateneo standout Ange Kouame having that permanent role.

In case a decision comes out favoring Clarkson as a local, it would provide Gilas a tremendous boost as it aims to make a strong impression with the Philippines hosting majority of the 2023 World Cup matches.

Clarkson did get to don the Gilas jersey in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia which saw the Philippines finish fifth.

But Clarkson was permitted to suit up as a local since eligibility rules in events like the Asiad are more relaxed compared to FIBA competitions.

Source: Manila Bulletin (