PLAYING alongside new and younger teammates with Gilas-Pilipinas 2.0 will entail a new round of adjustments for big man Marcus Douthit.
The 6-foot-11 naturalized player is aware he has to blend with new, unfamiliar faces when Gilas competes in the coming 24th Dubai International basketball tournament starting this week.
“It’s going to be very tough because none of these guys I‘ve ever played with,” he said of the team that is mostly made up of cadet players from the national training pool. “Playing with the younger guys it’s a lot different, but it’s going to be okay.
“All the other teams there (in Dubai) have been playing together and even some of them are club teams so this team will pretty much do together before the tournament,” added Douthit.
The Providence College alumnus, Jay-R Reyes are the only mainstays from the Gilas team that won the 34th William Jones Cup championship last year who will be returning to the squad. Garvo Lanete and Matt Ganuelas also had limited minutes with the Jones Cup-winning side.
Douthit is practicing with Gilas for more than a week now, and admitted familiarizing himself with his new teammates – including two other players from the PBA – is his first priority now.
“For Jay-R (Reyes), I’ve known him cause we’ve played last summer in the Jones Cup and in other tournaments but the other two guys I’ve seen them play in the PBA but I don’t know how good they can play outside Manila. But they're coming along, so we’ll see what will happen,” he said.
Douthit remains cautious as to what his expectations will be in the Dubai tournament.
“It depends on what team we come up with. If we’re the team who came up with a gold, we have a great chance,” said Douthit, who was with the original Gilas team that finished third in the same Dubai meet in 2010.
“But these younger guys I’m not too sure cause I’ve never played with them so I don’t know.”