BLACKWATER would rather put national cause before its own interest.
Even if it meant costing them a game, the Elite decided not to field old reliable Marcus Douthit for their remaining outings in the PBA Governors Cup and will be sticking it out with replacement Marcus Cousin for their final game of the season.
Douthit suffered an ankle injury while playing for Gilas cadets during the semifinals of the 28th Southeast Asian Games against Thailand, and Blackwater management deemed it best not to utilize him anymore with the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship just around the corner.
The 6-foot-11 Douthit is one of Gilas two naturalized players – along with Andre Blatche - included in the training pool of Gilas Pilipinas bound for the Olympic qualifying tournament set in China this September.
Although Blatche, a certified NBA player, is likely to get the slot in the national team, Blackwater doesn’t want Douthit to aggravate the injury just in case his services is needed by Gilas.
“Marcus right now mayroon siyang sprained ankle. Ayaw naming ma-aggravate yung sprain niya dahil they are going to Fiba Asia,” said Blackwater team manager Johnson Martinez after an 89-102 loss to NLEX. “At least para healthy siya by that time.”
Douthit arrived on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Gilas Cadet won the basketball gold in the SEA Games by beating Indonesia in the championship match.
The New York City native went straight to Blackwater’s game against San Miguel, but never suited up.
“Kaysa pilitin mo, lalong madaling mapilay yan,” added Johnson.
The Elite (1-9) still have a game left in the season-ending conference against defending champion Star, and Johnson said the team will be tapping Cousin as its import.
Blackwater had Douthit as import in its lone win in the conference against crowd favorite Ginebra.