Richie Garcia satisfied with what Gilas got in return after Andray Blatche ruled ineligible
PSC chief Richie Garcia says he was happy Asiad organizers allowed Gilas to replace the ineligible Andray Blatche with fellow naturalized player Marcus Douthit. Jerome Ascano

PHILIPPINE delegation chef de mission Richie Garcia said he’s still satisfied with what Gilas Pilipinas got from the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (Iagoc) despite its refusal to allow Andray Blatche to play for the national team due to ineligibility.

“Marami lang silang questions but I am very happy with what we got. They were very accommodating naman,” said Garcia in a message to from Incheon.

Garcia was with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) adviser Moying Martelino during the delegation registration meeting in Incheon on Wednesday where the case of Blatche was tackled.

Although the Filipinos’ last-ditch effort to let Blatche play for Gilas in the Asiad fell on deaf ears, Garcia said he was more than glad organizers allowed original naturalized player Marcus Douthit to be re-inserted into the Gilas lineup.

[See Blatche out of Asiad team as OCA chief turns down last-ditch Gilas appeal]

Blatche was not allowed by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to suit up for the Philippines due to technicality since the Olympic body requires all naturalized players to have resided in the country they represent for at least three straight years.

Whereas Douthit had been in the Philippines since 2010, Blatche was only naturalized recently in time for the Fiba World Cup.  

Aside from Douthit, Jimmy Alapag has also been allowed to be included in the  line-up to replace the injured Jayson Castro, although Gilas coach Chot Reyes said the final lineup will not be decided until the eve of the team manager's meeting on September 19.

[See Chot Reyes stands defiant as he prepares rejigged Gilas team for Asiad after Blatche exit]

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