JAKARTA—An Asian Games Johnny-come-lately, Filipino-American basketball player Jordan Clarkson will be trying out six new Barong Tagalogs to fit his size as he takes the spotlight as the country’s standard-bearer during the opening ceremonies of the continental sports showcase on Saturday at the sprawling Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here.
“Those were only oversize ones left so we shipped them out as fast as we can,” said national team chef de mission Richard Gomez, who arrived on a Philippine Airlines flight here on Friday night together with some Filipino athletes, of the national costume designed by noted couturier Randy Ortiz. “I hope one of those fits Jordan.”
Made out of silk, the Barong sports an embroidered “harimanok” design and sun on both breasts and will be worn by the over 270-man national contingent, with the 6-foot-4 Cleveland Cavalier mainstay at the helm, during the inaugural rites starting at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. in Manila) Saturday at the 80,000-capacity stadium.
Gomez bared that he had endorsed Clarkson as the flag-bearer to Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Pato Gregorio “because Clarkson is a good role model who has reached the pinnacle of being a Filipino basketball athlete by playing in the NBA. He will inspire our other athletes here to do well.”
He pointed out that bestowing the honor on Fil-Am was also sending a message that “whether you are Filipino born overseas or locally, we are just one big sports family.”
- Published in Basketball