Friday, September 12, 2014
IT'S OFFICIAL: Andray Blatche out of Asian Games; Marcus Douthit will play for Gilas
With Andray Blatche out of the Asian Games, Gilas Pilipinas will be tapping his fellow naturalized player Marcus Douthit for the 2014 Asian Games.
Also joining Gilas in Incheon, South Korea is team captain Jimmy Alapag, who will be stepping in for injured Jason Castro.
The late inclusion of Douthit and Alapag was approved by the Olympic Committee of Asia, which barred Blatche for failing to meet the required 3-year residency for naturalized players.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes announced the changes on his Twitter page.
OCA Director General Husain Al-Musallam said Blatche's eligibility for this year's Asian Games has been denied with finality.
The OCA official said the only way they can certify Blatche's eligibility is if the Philippines can prove that the NBA player has stayed in the Philippines for the past 3 years.
Reyes earlier said they were ready to accept OCA’s decision, adding that Gilas will go “all Filipino” if needed.
“If Korea wants us to play all Filipino in the Asian games, we are ready to do battle,” he said.
The statement somehow defused tensions between the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the OCA.
SBP had said that it might forward its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, or worse, pull out Gilas from the Asiad competition despite possible sanctions.
The Asian Games will begin on September 19.