GOOD, old Marcus Douthit is back to play for Gilas Pilipinas.
National team manager Aboy Castro confirmed the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) agreed to let Douthit regain his old spot in the team after Andray Blatch was ruled out with finality of not being eligible to play in the Incheon Asian Games.
The return of Douthit to the Gilas lineup also coincides with the inclusion of Jimmy Alapag to the team after initially being left out by coach Chot Reyes to the original list of roster submitted to the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (IAGOC).
Reyes later said in his tweeter account@coachot that Douthit should be put in game shape as soon as possible, with the basketball competition in the Asiad set to start on Sept. 20.
“Just got final word from Incheon that Blatche is out. What a shame. Gotta get @DouthitMarcus in game shape, pronto!
This marks the first time the 6-foot-11 Douthit will be playing for the national team since last year’s Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship when Gilas finished runner-up behind Iran to earn a berth in the Fiba World Cup in Seville, Spain.
But Douthit took the backseat in the world championship as Blatche, whose naturalization was approved just months before the World Cup, took over his role and served as Gilas’ main big man.
Blatche was originally set to take his act to Incheon for the Asiad, but a three-year residency rule imposed on all naturalized players by the Olympic Council of Asia shot down the NBA veteran’s chance of playing for Gilas anew, paving the way for Douthit’s return.