The booing incident intended for Gilas head coach Chot Reyes at the Mall of Asia Arena did not sit too well with NBA star Jordan Clarkson, who made his debut game on home soil in the Philippines’ 84-46 rout of Saudi Arabia Monday night, Aug. 29.

Jordan Clarkson (FIBA)

Set during National Heroes’ Day, members of Gilas Pilipinas were welcomed with a cheerful crowd and a round of applause but it was a totally different atmosphere when it was Reyes’ turn to be introduced during the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.

As soon as his face was flashed on the big screen, Reyes, who returned to coaching duties for Gilas in February this year after Tab Baldwin’s departure, received nothing but loud boos and hate from the crowd.

The national team mentor would have to endure those infuriation for the rest of the ball game in front of the 19, 829 spectators.

Clarkson, for his part, did not like the action at all, calling out fans to “change our actions” and show some love and peace instead.

“I mean, he’s part of us. He’s one of us. We had the boos in the crowd or whatever’s going on. I’m not here a lot throughout the year so I don’t know what’s going on,” said Jordan, who finished with 23 points, six assists and five rebounds in his first win donning the Gilas uniform.

“But from what I’m seeing these last days, it’s kinda getting some b***s***,” he added, turning candid as he became emotional regarding the booing incident.

“But yeah, he’s our coach. He’s one of us. He works hard. He puts all this together. From what I’ve been hearing, he walked away from the game. He came back. He ain’t gotta do with none of this s***. He ain’t gonna deal with none of the boos. He ain’t gonna deal with none of the threats… he’s coming back to this game ‘coz he loved it. And he loves the country, he loves this team, and each and every one of us.”

The Utah Jazz star also recalled the moment when Reyes talked to him a decade ago back when he was still in college as the two shared each other’s vision for the national team.

The 30-year-old NBA guard likewise urged fans and supporters alike to provide support instead of spreading hate, mostly though meant for Reyes — “the most hated man” in the Philippine basketball scene — to bear.

While Clarkson enjoyed the energy from the fans every time they went frenzy, the Florida native cager said it is high time for the nation to become as one as Gilas takes on the bigger challenge when the FIBA World Cup kicks off August next year.

“This all has been a blessing and for somebody to get rocks thrown at him for putting all this together, me and Kai, his dream and vision that he had coming back to the game, is like, what I said, b***s***,” said the frustrated Clarkson.

“So I think we should just support him and support what he got going because this next World Cup, we all gotta have each other’s back and support each other going through this. That’s all I gotta say about that.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (