It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Clarkson a class above the rest in Asian Games: Guiao

196

The Philippine men’s basketball team had its first full scrimmage with Jordan Clarkson and head coach Yeng Guiao is convinced the Cleveland Cavaliers player is a class above the rest in 18th Asian Games.

Even against China? Guiao believes so.

“I think he’s a class of his own in this Asian Games,” said Guiao with his eyes radiating with confidence.

“Wala pa akong nakita (I have not seen anyone). I’ve watched Korea, China, Japan, Iran. I don’t think skill-wise, may tatapat sa kanya (there is someone who can match him),” he added.

Having played with two of the greatest players on earth — Kobe Bryant with the LA Lakers and LeBron James with the Cavaliers — Clarkson could bring a lot on the table.

And that makes the Rain or Shine-led Philippine team a lot quicker, deadlier and more stable in the backcourt.

“Nadagdagan ang quickness natin sa pagdating ni Clarkson (Our quickness improved with Clarkson’s arrival),” said Guiao. “Jordan’s mentality is he can control the game just by his decision-making not to mention his skills and physical abilities.”

“If you give him the ball and make him create, it’s either he will find the open guy or he will score. A lot of PBA [Philippine Basketball Association] imports don’t get to that level. Mayroon silang (They have) physical skills, mayroon silang (they have) size and mayroon silang (they have) abilities, pero (but) at a young age, it’s really the mental aspect of the game (that sets him apart). How he reads the game, how he makes decision, how he chooses his options, I think that’s the difference,” he added.

Clarkson’s mettle will be tested in Tuesday’s game with the mighty Chinese squad.

About the team’s chances, Guiao said his boys will use their quickness to the fullest to make up for their height disadvantage.

“Kung mabilis tayong mga Pinoy, sobrang bilis nito (If we Pinoys are already fast, they are faster). He’s incredibly quick, fast and he’s got quick reflexes. On a match up situation, hindi ko alam sino itatapat ng China sa kanya (I don’t know who will be his match from the Chinese team).” (PSC PR)