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Clarkson on his way to Manila, set to reinforce Gilas

Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson is on his way to Manila as promised as a photo of him posted by Filipino digital creator and photojournalist Jhay Otamias made the rounds in social media on Monday.

Otamias had a photo taken with the 31-year-old Clarkson who is seen at the Los Angeles International, as he is set to take his flight to Manila.

Jordan Clarkson FIBA PHOTO

The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year will have over two weeks to get reacquainted with the national team before plunging into action in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which the Philippines is co-hosting with Japan and Indonesia.

The sweet-shooting Filipino-American guard is expected to arrive in Manila on Tuesday, and will join Gilas in practice the next day.

The national squad is playing its final game in the 2023 Heyuan WUS International Basketball tournament against Iran as of press time on Monday (Aug. 7), but will leave Guangdong from there and head back to Manila.

Clarkson will no doubt, serve as Gilas' top scoring option, given his NBA pedigree and high basketball IQ.

“The No. 1 thing I can expect is he's in basketball shape. Maybe not yet in top game shape, but he will have a couple of weeks to get there, and as you know for a player of that caliber, that should be enough in terms of basketball playing ability and game shape,” Reyes said, during his guest appearance over the weekend in former PBA commissioner Noli Eala's online sports program Power and Play.

Clarkson, the 46th overall draft pick of the Washington Wizards in 2014, is coming off another impressive season with the Jazz that saw him average 20.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 61 regular season games.

He reinforced Gilas in the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, where the Philippines lost a narrow contest to the Waek Arakji-led Lebanon in Beirut, before coming out with a huge victory over Saudi Arabia a few days after at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

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