By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — NBA player Jordan Clarkson is expected to visit Taiwan together with the Philippines national basketball team for an upcoming international hoop tournament to kick off in New Taipei today, Taiwan’s basketball association has said. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard, however, will not play for Team Philippines during the William Jones Cup as he applied to join the tourney as a VIP guest instead of as a player, Lee Yi-chung (李一中), secretary-general of Taiwan’s Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), told local media earlier this week. Lee’s comment confirmed earlier Philippines media reports that said the 23-year-old player could be visiting Taiwan for the annual basketball tournament. The 6-foot-5 rising talent is currently visiting the Philippines to explore the possibility of representing the country at an Asia qualifying round for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics this September.
Born in the United States to an American father and a Filipino mother, Clarkson has joined the Philippines team for practice and was quoted this Thursday by foreign media as saying he is eager to play for the Philippines’ national team. The Philippines basketball association has expressed hope that they can clear all the requirements of FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, in time to get Clarkson to play for the team.
The 37th edition of the William Jones Cup, which features some of the top basketball squads from around the world, will run from Aug. 29 to Sept. 6 in New Taipei. Aside from the Taiwan national team, Taiwan’s B-team, the Philippines, South Korea, Iran, New Zealand, the U.S., Russia and Japan will all be playing head to head, according to the CTBA. Taiwan’s national team will open the tourney today versus Japan, while the Philippines will play Taiwan tomorrow at the Xinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.