BREAKING the so-called ‘Curse of Korea’ in the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship was definitely one of the high points of Marcus Douthit’s career with Gilas Pilipinas even though he suffered an injury in that semifinal victory that propelled the national team to a spot in the Fiba World Cup.
Douthit only scored two points in the game after he broke his right calf in the match. But despite his absence, Gilas Pilipinas pulled through in the end with a dramatic 86-79 win on August 10, 2013 in front of a home crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The naturalized Filipino said the victory was definitely one of his top moments as Gilas Pilipinas player even though he didn’t play much in the game because he saw how the program developed over the years.
“One of the best memories was when we got the medal in Manila,” Douthit told Extra Session podcast. “That was something that you can’t put in a book. That’s something you can’t make up. That’s something like, it was history. It was basically history.”
Douthit said his calf collided with someone’s knee midway in the second quarter of the match. Douthit thought he could walk off the injury when he returned to the locker room to get some treatment.
“His knee went into my calf muscle. I tore my calf muscle in the game against Korea. When I went to the back room, I thought I just had a muscle spasm or catch a cramp. When I went to go step, I couldn’t even step. Doctors said you tore your calf. I said ‘No way.’ I was like, listen, we ain’t losing this game. I don’t care,'” said Douthit.
But even though he didn’t return to the court, the naturalized player said the feeling was still amazing as he saw Gilas Pilipinas accomplish its goal that it had hoped for since the formation of the original Smart Gilas that Douthit was part of in 2010.
“It was amazing but at the end of the day, the only hard part was like, I knew what it took to get up to that point. I’ve been there from Day One, all the camps, all the practices, all the different coaches changing, different players. It was just a lot.
“I knew what the team been through from Day One to that point. Not to be part of it at that point, that was hard. But I was confident of the guys that was on the floor. I knew what we’ve been through,” he added.
Douthit watched as his Gilas teammates particularly Ranidel De Ocampo, Jimmy Alapag, and Marc Pingirs hit crucial shots down the stretch on their way to a monumental victory that gave the Philippines a return trip to the world stage of basketball for the first time since 1978.
“Honestly, it was one the highest points of my life that something great happened. It was just great to be part of it,” said Douthit.
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