Friday, November 15, 2013
Gilas Pilipinas re-signs Marcus Douthit for 2014 FIBA World Cup
Gilas Pilipinas has just signed Marcus Douthit to a contract-extension deal lasting up to September, assuring the PH team of a naturalized player in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain and in the succeeding Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
National coach Chot Reyes, however, doesn’t rule out the possibility of tapping in another naturalized player.
“We’ve renewed his contract until the Asian Games, so he’s going to be there. Whether it’s him that we’ll eventually use, that depends on, No. 1, will we find somebody better than him and, No. 2, can we get him through the needed naturalization process,” said Reyes.
“The best move for us was to sign him. Whatever happens, we have a naturalized player,” Reyes also said.
Douthit, now 33, has been with Gilas for three years now, helping the Nationals to a fourth-place finish in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China and to second place in the Asian joust that the country hosted last August.
The former Providence College Friar, the LA Lakers’ second-round pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, also had a stint with Gilas in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
A big concern yet again, however, is the period of time Gilas gets to prepare for these coming international competitions.
The PBA has already revised its calendar last year and this year to accommodate Gilas’ training for the last FIBA Asia tourney.
If the pro league sticks with its schedule in its coming 2013-14 season, Gilas gets no more than two weeks of buildup for the world meet.
“Basically, we’re told that they cannot adjust the schedule. I don’t know if something happens in the future, but for now I’m already planning on that fact that we’ll only have two weeks,” said Reyes.
How about the breaks in-between conferences? “We cannot play in between conferences since it’s just a one-week break. In between the second and third, there’s the All-Star Week,” said Reyes.
They start once-a-week practice in January but Reyes doubts if they can work out with a full 12-man roster since the players also practice with their respective mother teams.
“We’ll be complete as a team only on Aug. 16 (if the 2014 PBA Governors Cup finale goes the full distance),” Reyes said.
“The FIBA world opens Aug. 30, so it’s two weeks. We’ll see what we can do,” Reyes added. “Syempre ayaw naman natin tambakan tayo ng 40 points.”
During the launch of PBA Season 39 at Makati Shangri-La Wednesday, PBA commissioner Chito Salud hinted they can no longer touch their schedule.
A part of their revised season calendar is already a compact four-days-a-week schedule.