CLARKSON NAKIUSAP SA MGA KAPWA PINOY

Ni ANN ENCARNACINO

MASAYA at malungkot si Fil-Am at Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson sa panalo ng Gilas Pilipinas kontra Saudi Arabia nitong Lunes ng gabi.

Natutuwa ang dating NBA Sixth Man of the Year dahil nakabawi sila sa close loss laban sa Lebanon (81-85) noong Agosto 25, nang magwagi kontra Saudi Arabia (84-46) para kumpletuhin ang fourth window ng 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers sa harap ng 19,231 kababayan na dumagsa sa MOA.

Ngunit nalulungkot siya para kay Gilas head coach Chot Reyes na hindi nakaligtas sa ‘boos’ ng home crowd.

“We have each other’s backs… I’m here with my coach…I know everybody in the locker room is.. I think we need to change our actions and show some love and peace here. He’s part of us. He’s one of us. And hearing boos in the crowd,

whatever is going on is not good,” sabi ni Clarkson.

“I’m not here a lot throughout the years so I don’t really know what’s going on but seeing these last days, he kinda received some boos here, it’s kind of been some bullshit.” Kasunod nito, hiniling ni Clarkson sa mga kapwa Pinoy na irespeto ang buong coaching staff ng national team.

Gaya nang inaasahan, ­pinangunahan ng former Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers player ang Gilas nang magsalaksak ng limang tres at kabuuang 23 puntos, kasama ang 5 rebounds at 6 assists.

Nag-ambag naman si 7-foot-3 Kai Sotto ng 16 puntos at 13 rebounds para sa nationals, ngayon ay may 3-3 panalo-talong record.

BRIGHT FUTURE KAY KAI

AGAD bumalik sa Australia si Kai Sotto para makasama ang Adelaide 36ers sa ikalawang season, kaya’t hindi na niya personal na narinig ang mga papuri sa kanya ng Gilas Pilipinas teammate na si Jordan Clarkson.

Ayon kay Clarkson, nakikita niyang may magandang kinabukasan ang Filipino center kahit hindi ito napili sa nakaraang NBA Rookie Draft.

Payo ng Jazz player kay Sotto: “Just stay with it. Not to get down, give up, or anything. I think he has a bright future. He’s young. He’s just learning, get in the weight room, get stronger, put some time in as he grows into the player he is. He just gotta continue to put the work in, you know, keep making strides in his career path.”

Dagdag ni Clarkson: “I think he’s what, 20-years-old. I didn’t make it to the league until I was 21, 22 years old. So he has time to go over. I think he’s going to Australia right now to grow and play against pros at a young age, really learn the game.”

Inamin din ng Fil-Am, noon pa niya sinusubaybayan ang basketball career ni Sotto.

“I’m proud of Kai, from when I first saw him coming out of high school or whatever and then ­seeing him now. He’s taking steps in the right direction, so I’m happy for him and can’t wait to see him continue to grow.”

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