ASIAN GAMES: I’m excited and I’m ready for the games -- Clarkson
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 16, 2018 05:20 PM
I’m excited and I’m ready for the games. I’m very excited to know that I’m finally getting to do this, being able to play with my team and for the country, it’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to -- Jordan Clarkson (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
NBA player Jordan Clarkson will finally get a chance to don the national colors.
Although the Cleveland Cavaliers guard skipped the Philippines’ opening day assignment, Clarkson liked how the ragtag, hastily-formed Gilas Pilipinas played their hearts out against Kazakhstan in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games.
Clarkson, the country’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies on Saturday, arrived in Indonesia Thursday morning and went straight to GBK Basketball Hall to watch the game.
“I’m excited and I’m ready for the games. I’m very excited to know that I’m finally getting to do this, being able to play with my team and for the country, it’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to,” said Clarkson.
Despite missing a key piece, national team head coach Yeng Guiao steered the Rain or Shine core and PBA-reinforced Gilas to a convincing 96-59 drubbing of the Kazakhs to set a foot in the quarterfinals.
Clarkson was impressed with what he saw.
“(The team) is really good, fast, get up and down, shoot threes, fun style of play,” said Clarkson, who for the past three years was in the talks of playing for the national team.
The Gilasto Painters, a portmanteau of Gilas and Rain or Shine’s PBA moniker, pounced on the hapless Kazakhs early and bullied their way to a dominating win, which saw all of Guiao’s 11 players contributing on offense.
Clarkson, whose eligibility for the Asiad was filled with drama, will debut on Tuesday against powerhouse team and gold medal favorite China.
“It’s a big game, every game is a big game,” he said. “We try to get the win every time we step on the floor so we just come here to compete and try to win.”
Clarkson will now use the lull in action to familiarize with Guiao’s system and jell with the team.
“We got a few days of practice before the next game. I have to get used to how they do things here at least we have four days of practice so that I could get used to,” he said.
Here is the full Clarkson interview: