SEVILLE, SPAIN - Marcus Douthit has been with Gilas Pilipinas every step of the way in the buildup to the Fiba World Cup and has been a ubiquitous presence here, sweating it out in practices and assisting the players during the shootarounds before games.
But the odd man out of the World Cup may be back in his usual role come the Asian Games.
With fellow naturalized player Andray Blatche's availability for the Incheon Asiad in doubt because of a pestering eligibility issue, Douthit said he will be ready if called upon to lead the Philippines' quest for its first gold medal in the quadrennial event since 1962.
"I've been here since we started so I don't see any reason why I won't be ready," said the 6-foot-10 slotman. "I've been doing everything with the team, but (the Asian Games stint is) not something I'm deciding on, so let's see what happens."
[See Blatche excited to go for Asian Games gold, but says eligibility issue 'not my call]
Douthit, who played for Gilas in its runner-up finish in the Fiba-Asia championships last year, has been reduced into an afterthought here especially with the impressive performances of Blatche, who is among the tournament leaders in scoring, rebounding and player efficiency ratings.
But with Blatche's eligibility coming under scrutiny from Incheon organizers, it is likely Douthit may get the call-up again as a late replacement under an Asian Games provision that allows for changes in the lineup because of 'injury or medical condition.'
According to sources, Douthit's contract with Gilas is set to expire in the course of the Asiad campaign, but the 34-year-old former Providence College standout said he's ready to answer the call.
Does he want a shot at an Asiad gold, he was asked.
"I want the shot at the Fiba (World Cup)," he said emphatically. "But at the end of the day, it was not my choice, you know what I mean?"
"I'm doing the same thing everybody on the court is doing because like I said, you don't know what's gonna happen."
Douthit admitted he understands that when the Gilas program signed up Blatche, the plan was to play the former Brooklyn Net and now NBA free agent not just in the Fiba World Cup but also in the Asiad.
"That's why they got another guy, to fill that void so there will be no doubt," he said. "They didn't get Andray just for the Fiba (World Cup), you know what I mean. It's more for the Asian Games, but we don't know what's gonna happen."
[See Chot Reyes on putting Blatche in Asiad lineup despite eligibility risk: 'It's Blatche or nothing']
Doubts have been raised on whether Gilas can win the gold medal with Douthit in the lineup and not Blatche, but such thoughts only serve to fire up the underrated big man.
"They've been doubting me since I got here. It's a battle of the beasts. They doubted us last year and we did it, you know," said Douthit, referring to the runner-up finish to Iran in the Fiba-Asia championships.
"That's the only way you wake up in the morning and keep doing your job, because you have doubts."