Jordan loves Mikey show

Jordan Clarkson was at courtside when TNT Tropang Giga booked a thrilling 86-84 win over San Miguel Beer in Game 1 of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup
best-of-seven finals series late Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

But there was one player who caught the attention of the 30-year-old National Basketball Association standout, who made it to the game midway into the second quarter.

“Big fan! Mikey Williams got game! TNT,” Clarkson tweeted shortly after getting a warm welcome from ranking PBA officials, including TNT team owner Manny Pangilinan and San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua.

With Clarkson and his large entourage at courtside, Williams made sure to put on a show.

The smooth-shooting and composed gunner wowed the visiting Utah Jazz swingman with an array of moves that made him the league’s top rookie last year.

He conspired with Roger Pogoy for 22 points in the third period in which they outscored the Beermen, 33-15.

Williams also made five of his nine shots in the quarter, including a pair of three-pointers.

His jumper with 2:10 to play in the third canto gave TNT a 66-60 lead that capped a 9-0 blast that forced the Beermen to call a timeout.

All in all, he poured 21 points before playing decoy in a very crucial inbound play that led to Jayson Castro’s buzzer-beating jumper.

Williams, the former Cal State Fullerton star who is no stranger to dazzling scouts after playing three years in the NBA G League, thanked Clarkson for the compliment, saying that what the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year showed was “love.”

“That’s love,” he said in a post-game interview.

“I know him from LA, I played with him a lot out there so I’m familiar with him.”

Williams wasn’t the only local player familiar to Clarkson.

He said he was thrilled to see some former teammates like Castro, CJ Perez and Chris Ross playing in the league’s biggest stage.

“It’s amazing,” he said in a television interview.

“Seeing Jayson, Perez and Chris Ross, everybody having a good time.”

But apart from the pleasantries and
well-wishes at the sidelines, Clarkson was given an important marching order by the man leading Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

“You better win,” said Pangilinan in his first — and probably the last — meeting with Clarkson before Gilas fly to Lebanon for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

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