The Philippine Team barely survived TNT during their tune-up match.
The Nationals are expected to face stiff competition in the 18th Asian Games.
With that said, hopefully the team candidly named as “Gilastopainters” are able to improve the seventh place showing the country obtained about four years ago.
Unfortunately for us, this team will miss the services of the first Fil-American-to-play-alongside-Kobe-and-Lebron-and-go-to-the-NBA-Finals-while-promoting-Heinakken… Jordan Clarkson.
And this sucks… for Cleveland.
The Cavs just lost Lebron James to free agency and he is not the only one. Jeff Green is now with the Washington Wizards and the team opted to not re-sign Rodney Hood. They missed out on a lot of signings and if you look at their depth chart, Cedi Osman is their main small forward.
How is this cool?!?
Clarkson started as part of the LA Lakers and a trade deadline deal sent him alongside Larry Nance to the Cavaliers. Clarkson continued his role as Sixth Man but for some reason, he faltered during the NBA Finals. People took his disappearing act to media and social media. With Jones gone and the team in need of a viable offensive option behind Kevin Love, JR Smith, and perhaps Collin Sexton, Clarkson could be a diamond in the rough.
Like I said, Clarkson needs the Asian Games more than we need him.
Clarkson will have a free reign to discover his scoring awesomeness in the Asian Games. Team PHL set their bar low, so in case he wants to deviate the play (to some self-serving extent), then he could do as he pleases. Sure, Yeng Guiao and his core of all-stars are going for the kill… but with the way this group was hastily created, it’s like this team will have everything to gain and nothing to lose like how the Cleveland Indians were created in the film Major League.
Again, Clarkson could impose his will here.
Clarkson is the 46th pick of the Washington Wizards in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was later traded to the Lakers for cash considerations. Like Kyle Kuzma, Clarkson made an impression during the Summer League. With how Cleveland looks at the moment, the Asian Games is the only chance for Clarkson to get high stakes matches. Sure, they are still the reigning Eastern Conference Champions but that’s only because they had Lebron James as their main man.
Don Trollano may or may not claim the spot vacated by Clarkson but the team is still stacked with Rain or Shine veterans Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, Maverick Ahanmisi, James Yap, and Chris Tiu teaming up with Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Asi Taulava, JP Erram, and Christian Standhardinger.
This is not your typical Gilas Pilipinas squad… but they could be better.
So with our backs against the wall, this is where mental toughness kicks in. I know a lot of peeps expect a Yeng Guiao team to unleash an ultra-physical level of basketball but perhaps this team can surprise Asia as well as Gilas with regards to complacency.