IT'S not intentional that Blackwater will be playing all-Filipino when the nation celebrates Independence Day next month.
The Elite will have to make do without import Marcus Douthit when they play Talk `N Text in the PBA Governors Cup on June 12 as the naturalized player will be with the Gilas cadet team in Singapore for the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) deputy director for international affairs Butch Antonio said Blackwater has been informed ahead of time Douthit won’t be available to play for the Elite on the said date as the primary commitment of the 6-foot-11 native of New York is with the national team.
“He’s (Douthit) playing for the (Gilas) cadets, so Philippine team muna siya. The understanding is when we need him, he’ll play for us kasi 'yun (national team) ang commitment niya,” Antonio told Spin.ph on Thursday.
Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy said the team is aware of Douthit’s situation, and has decided to go import-less at least in its game against the Tropang Texters.
The Elite expect Douthit to be back on June 16 when they face the San Miguel Beermen.
“We will play all-Filipino on June 12,” said Sy, whose team is currently mired at the bottom of the standings with a 1-4 record in a tie with NLEX and defending champion Star Hotshots.
Douthit is averaging 22.6 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocks, and 3.4 assists this conference. He will still suit up in Blackwater’s next two games against Meralco on Friday and Rain or Shine on June 3, before leaving for Singapore three days later
Sinag Pilipinas, which successfully retained the South East Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) crown early this month in Singapore, will face Indonesia for its opening game in the biennial meet on June 10.
The Philippines is looking to win its 11th straight basketball gold in the event dating back to the 1991 edition in Manila.