WITHOUT much ado, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has made it clear Marcus Douthit's contract with Gilas Pilipinas will not be renewed when it expires at the end of September.
So former national teammates and fans stepped up to say thank you to 'Kuya Marcus.'
A day after the SBP said it would not be renewing Douthit's contract as a naturalized player for the national team, messages of gratitude filled social media sites for the 6-10 former Los Angeles Lakers draftee who manned the middle for Gilas in a memorable runner-up finish in the 2013 Fiba Asia championship.
Douthit last suited up for the Philippines this year when he played with the Gilas cadet squad in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore last June.
They Said It!
“Hopefully PBA will give this man a chance to play as a local he retires." - Fadz Allidoc
The writing was on the wall for Douthit on Tuesday night when Gilas coach Tab Baldwin brought in PBA-bound Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa to practice, saying the consensus top pick of the coming rookie draft will serve as a back-up to naturalized player Andray Blatche.
Douthit's exit was later confirmed by the SBP.
On Friday, Douthit, who is in the US, posted a message of on his Twitter account thanking fans for "accepting me to represent such a great country."
Soon after, Jimmy Alapag, Douthit's longtime teammate in the national team, led the tribute to the former Gilas slotman. Other former national players, like Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine, soon followed suit.
“An amazing ride these last 4 years my brother!! @douthitmarcus Thank you for all you’ve done for Philippine basketball #PUSO #GilasPilipinas #OnceFamilyAlwaysFamily,” wrote Alapag on Instagram.
The messages were still pouring in at posting time. Keep them coming, guys.