Friday, August 14, 2015
Marcus Douthit Officially Out of Gilas Pilipinas
Marcus Douthit will no longer be part of the Philippine national men’s basketball program.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios confirmed to InterAksyon in a text message that the 6-foot-10 naturalized player, who had represented the Philippines several times over the past four years, will not have his contract renewed once it expires in September.
This comes after Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin revealed plans for Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa to join the program to act as a backup to former NBA player Andray Blatche in place of a naturalized player.
“Douthit is out. I don’t know about Tautuaa, because I’m still out (of the country), but on my way back to Manila,” Barrios in a text message.
The veteran center Douthit, who earned the nickname ‘Kuya’ Marcus due to his experience, has been in the United States after being allowed to take a leave following his stint alongside the Gilas Pilipinas cadet team, winning the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore last June.
Douthit had been invaluable to the program, representing the Philippines twice in the FIBA Asia Champonship. He played for coach Rajko Toroman in 2011 and again for coach Chot Reyes in 2013 where he helped the team clinch a silver medal and a spot in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
He did not play on the world stage after the Philippines was able to bring Blatche into the fold as a naturalized player but Douthit stepped in as a replacement in last year’s Asian Games in Incheon after the former Brooklyn Nets center was deemed ineligible in the event.
Douthit, who is now 35 years old, has been showing signs of age, though, as his game has taken a dip of late.
Tautuaa, who is expected to be picked No. 1 overall in the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft, appears to be a logical choice to replace Douthit in a long-term role.
The athletic 6-foot-7 big man is only 26 years old and, unlike Blatche and Douthit, does not need to go through the process of appearing in front of the House of Representatives and the Senate to get a resolution to allow him to be naturalized.
Tautuaa is part-Filipino, although he is only eligible to play for the national team with the status of a naturalized player due to a FIBA rule that requires players to secure a passport of the team they will represent by the age of 16.
Marcus Douthit ‘thankful’ for Gilas Pilipinas stint
Naturalized Filipino Marcus Douthit expressed gratitude as he bid farewell to the Philippine national men’s basketball team after a five-year stint.
"I just want to thank everyone for accepting me to represent such a great country i will always be thankful !!! PUSO" He tweeted thru @DouthitMarcus.