Sport360 reporter Jay Asser takes on former NBA star Peja Stojaković

andrewbinner 28/08/2015
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Sport360 reporter Jay Asser takes on former NBA and Sacramento Kings star Peja Stojaković in a shootout at Dubai Sports World.









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NBA star reiterates desire to play for Philippines

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Clarkson playing for the Lakers.

Rising NBA star Jordan Clarkson said Thursday he is eager to play for the Philippines' national basketball team despite citizenship concerns from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

"I want to assure my Filipino brothers and sisters that, if given the chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and country," Clarkson said in a statement released by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (SBP).

Clarkson, whose mother hails from the Philippines, is visiting the basketball-crazy Southeast Asian nation and has joined the national team, Gilas Pilipinas, for practice.

The 23-year old, who plays guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, said that he was in the country to familiarise himself with the national team and would even accompany them when they play at the 2015 Jones Cup basketball tournament in Taiwan.

The basketball association's executive director Sonny Barrios said he was hopeful they could clear all the requirements of FIBA in time to get Clarkson to play for Gilas in China in September at the Asia qualifying round for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics.

"He is simply stating his willingness, he is not stating that he will play," Barrios clarified.

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– Sports World: NBA stars Rubio and Stojakovic light up Dubai

Barrios told AFP that the association was rushing to submit the documents that would allow Clarkson to play as a Filipino for Gilas Pilipinas in the Olympic qualifier.

The deadline for naming the Philippine team for the qualifier is September 8 but Barrios said they would have to submit Clarkson's documents even sooner.

"We have to submit it ASAP so they will still have time to evaluate. I am racing against time," he said.

FIBA rules allow one naturalised player on each national team but the Philippines already has a naturalised player in its squad, former Brooklyn Nets centre Andray Blatche.

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Veteran Michael Vick joins the Pittsburgh Steelers

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Controversial: Michael Vick.

Veteran free agent quarter-back Michael Vick has joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as back-up to Ben Roethlisberger. The 35-year-old Vick has signed a one-year deal which could see him earn up to $1 million (Dh3.67m) if he makes the Steelers team.

“There’s not a throw on the field he can’t make from an arm strength standpoint,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. “He’s a very experienced guy at what he does at this point in his career. And obviously the mobility is still unique, even at 35.”

Vick was the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played for the team through 2006 until his conviction and imprisonment for running a dog fighting ring. He played four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the New York Jets last year.

Tomlin said he was unfazed by Vick’s chequered past with Steelers fans taking to social media to voice their discontent.

“He’s done a lot since he’s gone through some of the things he’s gone through,” Tomlin said. “His track record to this point in that regard speaks for itself.”

Roethlisberger – who provides dogs to local police forces through his personal charity – also said Vick’s convictions for animal cruelty were of no concern.

– UAE: NBA stars Ricky Rubio and Peja Stojakovic light up DSW
– A day with Peja Stojakovic: Sacramento Kings legend visits Dubai
– UAE: Kenyans lead Conrad Dubai to big win over Sofitel

“For me, it’s about any way, any person, anything that can help this team,” he said. “If that means Michael Vick, then so be it. It’s about football in this locker room.”

The Denver Broncos, meanwhile, have agreed to terms with guard Evan Mathis to sure up their offensive line. Mathis, a two-time Pro Bowler, will join Denver on a one-year deal with a $2.5m base salary that can reach up to $4m if he hits on incentives, such as percentage of offensive snaps.

The Philadelphia Eagles released Mathis in the offseason over a contract dispute.

“Evan Mathis is an accomplished veteran who has played at a very high level for the last several seasons,” Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement.

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