December 02, 2023

Former Gilas coach weighs in on Jordan Clarkson vs Justin Brownlee debate

Former Gilas coach weighs in on Jordan Clarkson vs Justin Brownlee debate

So who should be Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized player in the FIBA World Cup: Jordan Clarkson or Justin Brownlee?

While he didn’t categorically bare which player he was picking, former Gilas Pilipinas coach Rajko Toroman’s choice seemed obvious.

“If you put Jordan Clarkson maybe you will lose some other players in the team. If you put Brownlee, I think that the system, the coach, the way they’re playing will be much better than with Jordan,” he said on the sports show Power and Play.

It’s not a knock on the Utah Jazz star, though.

“Jordan will make some individual efforts, [put up] numbers, but will it be enough? Of course he’s a great player in this competition. One of the best players not just in the Philippines. But if you’re looking for the system, if you’re looking to use the players that you have, Brownlee has some advantage in that,” Toroman said.

The OG coach of the Gilas program added with a smile: “In the end, basketball is a team sport. If you have LeBron [James], that’s not guaranteed that you will go to the finals.”

Still, it’s a good problem to have for coach Chot Reyes and co. ahead of the conclave among the best basketball countries this August. It’s a luxury Toroman didn’t have during his time with the team.

“The best thing is now you don’t need [to choose a] big guy because before you don’t have any choices,” he said, citing the big man options of Gilas in the likes of six-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, Kai Sotto, and Japeth Aguilar.

At the end of the day, it’s still a tough decision for Reyes.