NATIONAL basketball team coach Chot Reyes said Marcus Douthit has been signed to a contract extension that will keep him with Gilas Pilipinas until next year’s Asian Games, but he admitted they are also on the lookout for another prospective big man as some form of 'insurance.'
Douthit’s new contract means Gilas Pilipinas will have a legitimate post threat against the continent’s best teams if the plan to send the star-studded team to Incheon, South Korea for the Asiad pushes through.
“Ni-renew na namin si Douthit and his contract is till Asian Games,” Reyes said.
“He’s going to be there (Asian Games), (extension but) whether it’s him, we’re gonna be using, that depends on whether, number one, will we find somebody better than him (Douthit) and number two, if we can get him (new prospect) through the natural process, so the best move for us is to sign him.”
The lookout for a backup naturalized big man makes sense, considering that Douthit is turning 34 by April 2014.
With age fast catching up and Douthit’s sitting out the latter part of the Fiba-Asia men’s basketball Finals last August because of injury, the need to find a younger big guy to fill in for the former Provident College center has become much more obvious.
With still nine months to go before the Fiba World Cup, Reyes said they are just happy to secure Douthit’s contract extension.
“Whatever happens for us, is we have a naturalized player,” he added.
The 6-foot-10 Douthit, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 but never got to play in the NBA, averaged 11.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in the Fiba-Asia men’s championships last August.
He will be reinforcing the Gilas cadet squad next month when the Philippines tries to extend its basketball reign in the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.