April 14, 2024

Chot Reyes bares plan to beef up practices with Jordan Clarkson ahead of FIBA World Cup

Chot Reyes bares plan to beef up practices with Jordan Clarkson ahead of FIBA World Cup

A little more than five months away from the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas headmaster Chot Reyes seeks more practice time with the national team, especially with the SEA Games also happening in May this year.

The squad needs the reps, in particular, reps that include top naturalized player Jordan Clarkson. To do so, Reyes said they’re looking to replicate the strategy they had back when Gilas had Andray Blatche as its main reinforcement.

“The reason why we want to train in the US is so that he [Clarkson] is already there. The same thing that we did with Andray Blatche before,” Reyes told Playitright TV.  

“We went to where Andray was in Miami. And we trained so that Andray didn’t have to get too far from home,” he continued.

The tactician is looking to get the Utah Jazz scoring specialist in the fold a little more than a month away from the World Cup. Reyes added that this plan will also allow them to have “the luxury of playing quality teams” as part of its tune-ups.

“We’re taking a look at July for that, for Jordan to be able to join. Middle of June or early July,” he said.

These efforts will hopefully allow the national squad to reach its goal of improving on its 2014 FIBA World Cup campaign in Spain.

“Our goal is always to get better. The last time we were there, we won one game. We were one win away from advancing,” Reyes said.  

“Hopefully, we can get another win in the first round. And get at least to the second round. I think that would be a huge accomplishment.”

The lineup for the World Cup is by no means final. The pool for the sixth window of the Asian Qualifiers still includes 24 names, and apparently, that pool can still have additions.

 Enter AJ Edu.

A curious fan sent PlayitrightTV a question about Edu’s status with Gilas Pilipinas. Reyes quickly replied that the 6-foot-10 prospect is still very much a part of the national basketball program.

“Yes, he is part of the pool. Not for this (sixth) window, but for the World Cup.”

If Edu fully recovers from his ACL injury and does become part of the pool, countless basketball-loving Filipinos will have more reasons to cheer for as the 2023 World Cup approaches.