MARCUS Douthit was supposed to play in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) for the Manila Stars and had things gone their way, it would have certainly changed the landscape of the league.
But it just wasn’t meant to be for ‘Kuya Marcus.’
Given the league’s emphasis on prioritizing ‘full-blooded’ Filipinos, the 6-11 naturalized center was immediately ruled out, never mind if he was a cornerstone of the national team's return to prominence.
“Someone asked me if I was interested in playing and I said, 'Yes, for sure.' But I guess with the rules and everything like that, it didn’t happen,” said Douthit.
“My whole opinion on the whole thing is that it’s great that Manny (Pacquiao) is starting another league, it gives ex-players and younger players experience to play but I think that, how better can the guys get when you’re not playing against imports, against taller competition?” Douthit asked.
Douthit, however, said that he holds no grudges against Pacquiao or the league in general.
“It’s his league, his rules. It is what it is. No hard feelings.”
Douthit was spotted in the PBA on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to catch the Meralco–Rain or Shine match as well as the main game pitting Ginebra against Alaska.
Though he resides in the US now, Douthit said that he comes back every once in a while to catch up with old friends and enjoy the comforts of the country that he’s called his second home.
He also visits Coron, Palawan every three months to check on his watersports business.
“I always come back to check on the guys and see the players I play with, to check out on LA (Tenorio), catch up with Jimmy Alapag everytime I’m here,” Douthit shared.
“I come here often, this is like my second home so I’m never too far away.”
Though he’s been out of the Gilas program for years now, Douthit shared that he still checks on the team from time to time to give out his support.
He knows that they have a tough grind ahead of them, especially against Australia in the third window of the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers, but Douthit’s faith is unwavering.
“I spoke to some of the guys. Australia is a huge huge challenge for them. As long as they stick to their guns, they play really fast and that’s the only advantage that we have.
"I’m sure Andray (Blatche) is gonna shoot the ball well, you know, you got to play, you always have to have hope.”