MARCUS Douthit took his time before entering the Blackwater dugout at halftime, clearly frustrated and searching for answers as the game against Purefoods started to slip from the Elite's grasp.
But Douthit insists he's not quitting on Blackwater.
The naturalized Filipino has vowed to make the most of his borrowed time at Blackwater, where he stands as temporary import while original choice Chris Charles recovers from a hamstring injury.
“Am I frustrated? Purefoods is one of the best teams, if not the best team in the league,” said Douthit in an Spin.ph interview inside the team’s dugout shortly after the Elite lost to Purefoods, 86-98.
“I am still feeling out the guys in the team. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s a challenge. That’s how the game is,” he added.
Everyone at Blackwater has reasonto be frustrated as the expansion team lost its third game in the PBA Philippine Cup and 14th overall - just two short of the league record for longest losing streak in a season.
To make matters worse, fellow expansion team Kia Carnival already has two wins under its belt - one against the Elite last conference and another against Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer last Sunday.
Asked why he took his jersey off and walked around outside the dugout after the first half while the coaching staff and the whole team were already inside, Douthit said he was merely gathering his thoughts.
“I was just thinking how I can improve myself in the game. I was just trying to recap on certain situations I felt that I could have something different,” he said.
“The coaches are here trying to get our game plan together and I was just trying to figure out my mistakes and how I can contribute more and what I felt I needed to push myself harder in terms of certain situations in the game.”
The 35-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers draftee bared that he is '70 percent' in shape at this point.
“At the end of the day, [the Blackwater call-up] was just a surprise to me. It’s not like that it’s something I was playing pre-conference telling me I’m gonna play, that’s something different. So I am not upset at all,” he said.
“If they told me that ‘Marcus, you’re playing for Blackwater next conference,' then I would have myself well prepared for that,” Douthit added. “I haven’t played in the PBA the last two years. But again, I said that’s a challenge I took on, so I can just expect good results.”
Asked how he is adjusting from playing with some of the league's biggest stars with Gilas Pilipinas and now with a bunch of newbies and former cast-offs, Douthit said he is looking at it as another challenge.
“It’s nothing hard, it’s just a challenge. At the end of the day, you’re playing with one of the youngest teams in the league, playing against the best players and you’re coming in with the games already started, that’s all it is, uphill battle,” he said.
Asked if he will allow his stint with the Dioceldo Sy franchise to pass without winning a single game, Douthit shook his head.
“No, we’re gonna win games. I will never allow that (shutout),” he vowed.
Meanwhile, Blackwater’s first import Chris Charles is all praises with how Douthit is leading he team.
“He is doing great, especially on a short notice,” he said.
But Charles, a former Asean Basketball League reinforcement, is optimistic that he can return and finally make his debut in the PBA in a week or two.
“Hopefully in a week or so. I am extremely eager to play. It’s so difficult to watch,” said the agile seven-footer.