GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes hopes to have Fil-Am NBA star Jordan Clarkson on board the soonest possible with the buildup for the FIBA World Cup entering its last six weeks.

Mr. Clarkson missed the Gilas pool’s 16-day training camp in Estonia and Lithuania that ended Sunday as he focused on contract negotiations.

The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year awardee has since agreed to a multi-year extension with the Utah Jazz.

“We’re still in talks now,” Mr. Reyes said on CNN Philippines’ Sports Desk Wednesday night.

“From the start, we’ve been trying to get him as early as possible but there’s certain circumstances that are preventing him from doing so. We would have wanted him to go with us to Europe….”

Gilas resumed training in Manila last night, aiming to build on the gains from the Euro trip. Next up for the Nationals is a pocket tournament on Aug. 2 to 6 in China versus Iran, Lebanon and Senegal and ideally, Mr. Clarkson should be on hand by then.

“We’re in constant touch with Team Clarkson. Hopefully we can have him here as early as possible. We want him to be able to join us in the China pocket tournament kasi if not,” said Mr. Reyes, whose team starts its World Cup campaign on Aug. 25 against the Dominican Republic.

NBA aspirant Kai Sotto, another major absentee in the initial part of the buildup, is expected to fly in by next week after his Summer League stint with Orlando.

Meanwhile, Gilas heaved a sigh of relief after test on Dwight Ramos’ knee showed “no significant damage” per Mr. Reyes.

“The initial reading from our doctor on the MRI of Dwight (Ramos) is that light bruise only and no meniscal or other kind of damage. So it’s good,” he said.

Scottie Thompson’s comeback from hand injury, however, is still up in the air.

“We know it’s a metacarpal fracture but we need to find out how long it would take — four weeks, six weeks? If you ask Scottie (Thompson), he feels he can make it back. But still we need to prepare for a worst-case (scenario),” said Mr. Reyes. — Olmin Leyba