HWASEONG, South Korea - Gilas Pilipinas' quest for an Asian Games gold medal is in tatters.
Worse, the team looks as if it is falling apart.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes launched a stunning tirade against Marcus Douthit after a disappointing 68-77 loss to Qatar on Friday, ripping into the naturalized player not only for his performance but also for his actions inside the dugout at halftime.
"We're all disappointed in Marcus," the national coach said after Gilas' bid for the country's first Asiad gold medal since 1962 was left hanging in the balance by a hot-shooting Qatar side.
Douthit scored six early points for Gilas but faded in the end, hesitating on his jumpers and getting beat off the dribble by Qatar big man Erfan Ali Saeed in two crucial possessions in the fourth quarter.
“They were all the men of Marcus. When we switched, he defended No. 11 (Erfan Ali Saeed) and he started burning,” said Reyes.
Reyes was so unhappy with Douthit's play that he made his feelings known after the game, accusing the 6-10 center of 'quitting' on the team during the crucial Group H match.
“Our big guy, Douthit, just quit,” said Reyes. “Our big guy, the man we rely in the middle, just quit on our team. That’s very un-Filipino. I’m very disappointment with that development.”
There had been palpable tension between Reyes and Douthit ever since the Gilas coach named NBA veteran Andray Blatche to his lineup for both the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games.
Douthit, who led Gilas to a runner-up finish in last year's Fiba-Asia championships in Manila, only got the Asiad call-up when Blatche was ruled ineligible owing to the three-year residency rule for naturalized players.
More than Douthit's play, Reyes was obviously angry at Douthit's actions inside the dugout at the interval, pointing to the player's 'bad body language.'
“I don’t know what happened. Towards the end of the first half, he was at the dugout watching a music video. He was the last to leave the dugout. He had a very bad body language. And Qatar pounced on him.”
Insiders said Douthit's contract with Gilas was supposed to expire at the end of the month, and it is not known how the situation was worked out before he was tapped for the Incheon mission.
Even after the 63-68 loss to Iran on Thursday, Reyes didn't hide his disappointment in Douthit after he elected to launch a three-pointer in Gilas' final possession with the Iranians up by three points.
Now the argument is out in the open, and it is not known how it will play into the Gilas psyche going to must win games against South Korea on Saturday and Kazakhstan on Sunday.