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SAP Go looks at possibility of "double standard" in NBA's decision to keep Clarkson out of Asiad

Bong Go expressed his dismay over the NBA's "inconsistent" rule regarding Jordan Clarkson's case for the Asian Games. PBA Media Bureau (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Special Assistant to the President Bong Go hopes that the NBA will further clear the smoke in its decision not to allow Jordan Clarkson from playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the Asian Games.

"Sana po walang double-standard at sana man lang may puso ang NBA sa kanilang ginawang desisyon, lalong-lalo na kung ang nakasalalay ay ang basketball hopes and dreams ng isang buong bansa," Go said in a statement on Sunday following the official release of the decision.

His thought of a double standard in the NBA's move stemmed from two instances in which the league allowed its players to suit up for their respective national teams even if the international tournaments they are participating in are not part of the agreement between the league and FIBA.

"Naintindihan natin na mayroong agreement ang NBA with FIBA pagdating sa pakikilahok ng players sa international competitions, pero nakapagtataka lang kasi, bakit ang NBA player na si Zhou Qi pinayagan naman nila maglaro para sa China sa Asian Games samantalang si Clarkson, hindi. In a similar situation in 2015, pinayagan nila si Andrew Nicholson na maglaro para sa Canada sa Pan-American Games na counterpart ng Asian Games habang may live contract pa siya sa NBA," Go cited the two cases. "While we respect their authority over their players, I cannot help but express my dismay over how one seemingly inconsistent rule allowed them to disregard a plea of a whole nation."

Still, Go has high hopes for the national team that will go to Jakarta for the quadrennial meet.

"Even with this setback, tuloy pa rin ang laban!" Go continued. "I believe in the capabilities and determination of our players and we as a Filipino people should continue to rally behind our squad. Our team will go to Jakarta and fight with all our heart."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno