Getting Jordan Clarkson to attend a Fiba event as a local continues to be a pipe dream.
Fiba Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said the federation was not going to relax its eligibility rules any time soon, and responded with a resounding “no” on Sunday when asked about the possibility of adjust the guidelines.
“We will not go in that direction because of the specificities we have in this sport,” he said during a tournament-closing press conference at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, just before the bronze medal match between Canada and the United States. States.
“We have two, three major markets that produce players that are connected to a number of other countries and that would lead to national teams that have very little, if anything, to do with the level of basketball and the development of basketball in a country,” he added.
The Fiba official’s comments mean Clarkson will continue to play as a naturalized player: Fiba allows one place per country for such reinforcements in a bid to give countries lower in the world rankings a chance to compete with the powerhouses traditional.
Clarkson, a Filipino-American guard plying his trade for the Utah Jazz in the NBA, helped Gilas Pilipinas achieve a 1-4 win-loss record. The smooth-shooting goalkeeper has Filipino lineage rooted in his grandmother, who was born in the province of Pampanga.
His status as a naturalized player is a delicate issue given that some players view acting for their country as local despite having no real roots there.
The technicality that allows this to happen is Fiba’s passport rule, which states that players who acquire the passport of the country they represent before the age of 16 are eligible to play as a native of said country.
“As you know, we have the United States as our usual approach. You are born there, you have a passport, but of course you can have another passport at the same time because of your father or your grandfather, etc. So, as a general rule, the central board is clear, with only one naturalized player. Number 1: This is a principle that I don’t see changing,” Zagklis said.
“And number 2, the eligibility criteria are clear. You have the passport, you are eligible. Now, if you have the passport after the age of 16, we have to see if you have significant ties (with) the country, and if not, you fall into the category of naturalized.”
Clarkson has been a part of the country’s basketball program for five years and was even part of the national team at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. And yet, he did not benefit from an exemption despite fervent appeals from the national federation in the run-up to the World Cup.
Former national coach Chot Reyes said allowing Clarkson to play as a local would free up the naturalized player’s place for a much-needed position in the Philippines.
In the World Cup, this would have also allowed Gilas Pilipinas to face either Justin Brownlee or Ange Kouame.
Zagklis said he explained the rule to member countries several times and was frank and direct about how countries repeatedly asked to change it.
“It’s a very difficult rule. This year, I spent a lot of time in the continental assemblies re-explaining the situation to our members. (They) will understand it, but when we have our own case, everyone forgets the rule and says I would like a different rule.
And then when we say to propose a rule which will bring a fairer result, from the point of view of competitiveness. No one has come up with anything better than (the existing rule), I have to be honest with you,” he said.
“We stick to this rule. And we have a very experienced team that looks at eligibility and enforcement of this rule and we have to be accountable for how we handle that.
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