The Philippines' troubled preparations for the basketball tournament at the Asian Games have suffered another blow after the National Basketball Association (NBA) refused to allow Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson take part in the tournament.
The 26-year-old dual American-Filipino had hoped to make his debut for the country at Jakarta Palembang 2018 after being deemed eligible by the Olympic Council of Asia but now been stopped by the NBA.
"The NBA's agreement with FIBA (the International Basketball Federation) stipulates that NBA players can participate in the Olympics, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Continental Cup competitions, and associated qualifying tournaments," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said in a statement.
"Because the Asian Games are not one of those competitions, NBA players are unable to participate. In accordance with the NBA's agreement with FIBA, Jordan is welcome to represent the Philippines in the agreed-upon competitions,"
Clarkson was initially named to the national team's squad for the Asian Games before Philippine Basketball Federation (SBP) withdrew the team after claiming it needed to focus on its appeal to the FIBA against punishment for the on-court brawl during a World Cup qualifier against Australia last month.
Public opposition forced the SBP to reconsider their decision and announce they would play after all.
The Philippines squad are due to leave for Jakarta tomorrow.
They are scheduled to play their opening match against Kazakhstan in the Indonesian capital on Thursday (August 12) - two days before the official Opening Ceremony.