Tuesday, October 7, 2014
"Douthit suspension. Big break for us": Koreans trace Golden run on Marcus boo-boo
Top officials of the Korean Basketball League said the outcome of the 17th Asian Games men’s basketball competition could have been different if not for the suspension of Marcus Douthit in the Philippines-Korea game.
KBL commissioner Kim Young Ki and secretary general Jae Min Lee said it would have been very tough for the Koreans to beat Gilas Pilipinas if Douthit played.
“No one could’ve stopped Douthit. Our big men are young and inexperienced,” said Jae as quoted by PBA board chairman Patrick Gregorio in their meeting here.
Thirty-eight-year-old American-Korean forward Moon Tae-jong erupted for 38 points as the host team came from behind and beat out Gilas Pilipinas in a furious endgame battle, 97-95, in their quarterfinal-round match-up.
The Koreans gained top semifinal seeding from their group, rolled over the Japanese, 71-63, in the Final Four and nipped the Iranians, 79-77, in the gold-medal game.
A Gilas Pilipinas win over Korea should have altered the host’s course, probably sending them to an early knockout game with three-time FIBA Asia Championship titlist Iran.
“We read from the our papers that Douthit was suspended for disciplinary action. It’s a big break for us,” said the KBL secretary general who used to work with the Korean national cage federation.
The Korean officials thought they could really be destined to win as Moon came through with the spellbinding 38-points game.
“Moon is 38. He’s long been playing in the KBL and he’s not played that kind of game,” said Gregorio quoting the KBL sec-gen as saying.
“Imagine, in their next game (against Qatar), Moon scored only seven points,” Gregorio noted.
In the finale, Moon again dished out a clutch performance, delivering 19 points as the Koreans overcame Nikkhah Bahrami’s 30-point performance to reclaim the Asiad basketball gold medal they last won in Busan in 2002.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes drew tremendous flak from the Filipino nation back home on his suspension of Douthit.
And he further drew ire as he played Douthit in their next game where, at the finish, he ordered the naturalized player to make a shot in the other team’s basket.
Team Phl, with three wins against four losses, sank to a seventh-place finish, the country’s worst finish in the quadrennial event.
Curiously, it came after an impressive showing in the FIBA World Championship in Spain.