Still, as in any other worldwide competition that the Philippines plays in, the big concern remains to be time, with the away match against the Iranians slated on September 13 and the closed-door game back home against Qatar scheduled four days later.
"After being told no so many times, I refused to give up".
Houston Rockets centre Zhou Qi and Dallas Mavericks forward Ding Yanyuhang led China past the Philippines 82-80 in a last-gasp win at the GBK Basketball Hall in Jakarta.
Excitement is brewing in the basketball-mad Philippines over Clarkson, who was born in the United States but has Philippine citizenship through his grandmother.
"On the other side of the room is the Philippine women's volleyball team, who also showed the Filipino people how we can fight". "Jordan Clarkson adds a lot of options whether they're zoning us or playing matchups. That's the big difference between Asian and American (players)", said Nan, a former Chinese professional player who retired in 2009.
The multi-billion dollar United States league has expressed concern that players could pick up injuries or miss pre-season training on worldwide duty.
However the federation hastily assembled a team from scratch earlier this month after being prevailed upon by a senior aide to president Rodrigo Duterte to change their decision.
The fiery Guiao, who is currently in Jakarta handling the affairs of the national squad, will now be in charge of handling a Gilas squad still reeling from the suspension of 10 players and head coach Chot Reyes, who was himself slapped with a one-game ban.
Nevertheless, the number of Filipinos watching the practice slowly grew as they found a way to get the facility. "But we have the heart and the trainers", said Cayetano.
This is a growing game for both the teams.
To reach the semifinal round, the Philippines beat Iran (8.330-8.100) and Saudi Arabia (8.000-7.490).