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Aug 25, 2015
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After much buzz, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has confirmed that NBA player and Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson has already been a Philippine passport holder since age 12, according to a SPIN.ph report.

Photo via SPIN.ph's Facebook page

And before you blurt out "So what?," this development means Clarkson would need not to undergo the naturalization process to suit up for the country in international competitions, like the upcoming 2015 FIBA Asia Championship from Sept. 23 to Oct. 3, in Changsha, China.

Photo via Soriaga9272's Facebook page

The basketball federation is so optimistic that it even reportedly included Clarkson in the tentative 24-man Gilas Pilipinas pool submitted last Saturday. From this list the final 12 players will be selected to represent the country in the 2016 Olympics (in Rio de Janeiro) regional qualifier.

Photo via Basketball TV's Facebook page

While this piece of good news is highly encouraging, especially after the trials Gilas 3.0 is experiencing, what exactly will Clarkson bring to the national team—which even though doesn't outright suck, is certainly not at its best—is still intriguing.

Being the basketball enthusiasts that we are, we've listed the pros of having a guy of his caliber on our national hoops squad.

NBA EXPERIENCE


Video via FreeDawkins

This one's a bit conflicting. Clarkson has essentially just half an NBA season under his belt—from being initially assigned to his team's D-League affiliate, the LA D-Fenders, to starting 38 games for the Lakers at the point. Still, the determined Fil-Am was pitted against the likes of All-Star guards, being from the dreaded Western Conference, and ably held his own.


SIZE


Video via NBA

At 6'5," Clarkson is your modern-day, quintessential big point guard. And although time and again our previous teams have proven to overcome the height hurdle with the size of our #PUSO, it wouldn't hurt to be reinforced with someone whose frame could fare well in international competition, height-wise.


YOUTH


Video via CaCHooKaManTV

Clarkson, only at 23 years old, has the ability keep up with the game's pace with those fresh legs. And with him on board, it means less minute required for the team's senior statesmen, in case Dondon Hontiveros, Gary David, or even the "Mighty Mouse," Jimmy Alapag, make the lineup.


VERSATILITY


Video via FreeDawkins

Norming 15.8 points and 5 assists as a starter for the Lakers last season, Clarkson showed that he is not just a one-dimensional wonder. Being able to finish at the rim and shoot the rock makes him a dependable scorer, with that knack for passing to boot.

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WILLINGNESS


Video via NBA

With all those physical aspects mentioned, one might forget Clarkson's greatest and most important quality: his willingness to play. He has repeatedly expressed eagerness to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas and aid the team in its pursuit of basketball glory. With rumors of certain groups/people holding back some of their players, a patriotic Fil-Am could very well serve as a wake-up call.

If his energy and for-the-country attitude on the court rub on his teammates, there's no denying we'll have a team with the guts and desire to go all out. A focused team is a dangerous team.


Here's to hoping his stint comes sooner rather than later (or, gasp!, never).

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