JAKARTA – Jordan Clarkson is a legitimate NBA player who has the capability of dominating the Rain or Shine-backed Philippine team in scoring.
But for a Yeng Guiao-coached squad, the mentality has always been relying on everyone and not on anyone, and this concept is something the comebacking national team coach wants to address to the rest of the squad.
“The concept is for him not to make 50 points for us to win. He does not need to dominate the game that way. But he can dominate the game with his presence, his leadership, creating for his teammates and scoring when necessary,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines.
On Thursday, Clarkson was able to fit in fast in a short 50-minute session arranged by organizers to every team competing in the basketball competitions in the Asian Games. In a short span, the Cleveland Cavaliers guard was able to showcase his talent by picking up the plays fast, throwing a nasty dunk in one of the offensive schemes ran and even won the half court shootout for fun set up by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive Butch Antonio in welcoming the Fil-Am guard joining the squad.
Guiao believes Clarkson is ready to play.
“You can see that he’s in shape. You can see that he’s very quick. You can see that his skills are defined and fine tuned. But I don’t see any problem with his intelligence, his abilities. He can blend in and he’s going to lead this team – hopefully deep into the playoffs, into the medal round,” added Guiao.
Clarkson will be joining an already stacked guard rotation of the Philippine squad and Guiao is upbeat the NBA cager won’t disrupt the chemistry being developed by our quintet, which came off from an impressive win over Kazakhstan in its opening round assignment.
“He’s going to be playing guard position. He can play 1,2 and 3. We can alternate him in those positions. He’s going to handle the ball, create and attract the defense and try to free up his teammates or if he’s open himself, he can take the shot and he has the ability to score,” said Guiao.
On August 21, the Philippines will play China at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. Manila time) where Clarkson will play his first game with our national squad.
“What’s good for us is he can attract a lot of attention. That’s going to free up our local shooters. Our local scorers. It might be very useful for us, especially against China. Malalaki sila masyado. We will need that shooting window and if you cannot get that shooting window a lot from our big man. With him, he draws the attention of the defense and we will get that opportunity to score. He will know when to decoy and he will know when to score,” added Guiao.