➤ The NBA officially declared that Cleveland Cavaliers Clarkson will not be allowed to play in the Asian games citing their agreement with FIBA.
➤ “The NBA’s agreement with FIBA stipulates that NBA players can participate in the Olympics, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Continental Cup competitions, and associated qualifying tournament. Because the Asian Games are not one of those competitions, NBA players are unable to participate. In accordance with the NBA’s agreement with FIBA, Jordan is welcome to represent the Philippines in the agreed-upon competitions,” stated NBA spokesman Tim Frank.
➤ However, this decision was criticized heavily as the NBA clearly showed double standard as it allowed China’s Qi to play for China in the Asiad, despite Qi being part of the Houston Rockets roster.
➤ POC Secretary General Patrick Gregorio couldn’t hide his dismay over the NBA’s position, “I am at a loss for words. All I can say is ‘NBA, YOU BROKE OUR HEARTS’. You broke the hearts of 100 million Filipinos, We will never forget this.”
➤ “We were one clearance away… from a dear friend of the Filipino people, The NBA. Or so we thought,” added Gregorio.
➤ SBP President Al Panlilio also expressed his disappointment after learning that the NBA allowed Zhou Qi to play, “Of course, very disappointed. I hope rule applies to all consistently.”
➤ Additionally, Special Assistant to the President Bong Go was quoted “While we respect their authority over their players, I cannot help but express my dismay over how one seemingly inconsistent rule allowed them to disregard a plea of a whole nation, Sana po walang double-standard at sana man lang, may puso ang NBA sa kanilang ginawang desisyon, lalong-lao na kung ang nakasalalay ay ang basketball hopes and dreams ng isang buong bansa.”
➤ Coach Yeng Guiao may now opt to continue going to the Asiad with only 11 players as Clarkson was part of the original 12-man line-up. It will be up to Olympic Council of Asia if they will allow Don Trollano as a replacement.
➤ The Filipinos fielded a new squad after it lost majority of it’s players due to the recent FIBA suspension.
➤ The 2018 Asiad line-up consists of Chris Tiu, Raymund Almazan, Maverick Ahinmisi, Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, James Yap, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Christian Stanhardinger, Asi Taulava and Poy Erram.
➤ RP Five will battle Kazakhstan this Sunday, August 16 to begin its Asiad campaign.