SO, Gilas Pilipinas won against Saudi Arabia.
Guess who also won during the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers at the MOA Arena? You said it right. The scalpers.
Because we are a country of basketball fanatics, any fan who would die to see Jordan Clarkson, Kai Sotto and the rest of Gilas take on the Saudis would die to get a ticket at any cost.
Scalpers resell general patronage tickets to as high as P1,500. Yep, the measly GP ticket worth P125 plus tax can be fetched at the gate five times its actual prize.
Be it in sports, or any other event, scalpers generally enrich themselves. But only for a short time.
Speaking of Clarkson, the former NBA sixth man awardee did not only show up to play for Gilas but also did some charity events.
Clarkson was at the Tenement Basketball Court in the City of Taguig for a basketball clinic.
According to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Clarkson’s presence was “such a big inspiration,” especially to the youth who look up to him as a role model.
“You being here today is such a big inspiration, and I hope those present not only here sa Tenement but also those tuning in online will look at you and your achievements and DREAM BIG,” he added.
Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano meanwhile assured Clarkson of the prayers and cheers of the people of the city for his continued success.
“As the mayor of the city, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to JC — Jordan Clarkson — his family, and his team… His presence will surely inspire young dreamers, and young athletes to be the best that they can be. We enjoy and we love basketball here in the Philippines and so this day is such a historic day for the City of Taguig,” she said in her welcome remarks.
Clarkson also distributed shoes he brought for the children present at the event as well as shirts, basketballs, and meals provided by Senator Cayetano.
Asked how he felt being in Tenement which had been graced by many other NBA stars, Clarkson said he was proud to be back not just as a visitor but as someone who is also Filipino.
“This is kind of where it started. We came here the first time I visited here, now I’m just continuing my visits. Every NBA player comes here. They’re not from here — I am,” he said.
Clarkson also gave credit to his family, especially his grandmother who hails from Pampanga, for his success and for his commitment to representing the Philippines by joining the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team.
“I know you’re all looking at the bigger picture but a lot of this is from my grandmother who passed away two or three years ago. I’m just trying to carry her name, make her proud… She’s been through a great amount of stuff to be the woman she was and to carry the family as she did, so that’s probably one of the biggest reasons why I still do this. I represent the flag and I represent the country to this day,” he said.