With McGee and Blatche possibly replacing him, Douthit expresses support for Gilas

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Most Filipino fans received the news on the naturalization of NBA players JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche positively. They are both well known players who could help out Gilas Pilipinas in their upcoming campaign in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Largely an afterthought was Marcus Douthit, a vital cog in the past two campaigns of the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Championship. Because countries are only allowed to have one naturalized player in their lineup, Douthit will have to give way to either McGee or Blatche if their naturalizations pan out.

Earlier today, Douthit finally spoke about the situation through Twitter. Although he had every right to feel bad, the naturalized Filipino spoke of nothing else but support.

“I support whatever choice coach chot goes with at tge [sic] end of the day whatever is best for the country,” Douthit posted on his Twitter account.

Douthit first suited up for the Philippines with Smart-Gilas Pilipinas. He debuted during the 2010 MVP Invitational Championship, a competition won by the Philippines by defeating Jordan in the finals.

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In June 2010, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Douthit agreed to a one year contract which included the American undergoing Filipino naturalization.

Alongside amateur standouts such as Chris Tiu, Mark Barroca, JVee Casio, and Japeth Aguilar and supported by professional players Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, and Ranidel De Ocampo, Douthit marched into the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship wanting a spot at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He led the competitions in scoring and rebounding but they fell short. The Philippines lost to Jordan in the semis and lost to Korea for a slot in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

He then returned for another tour of service in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in Manila and although he was absent for the championship game against Iran, Douthit’s exploits helped the Philippines defeat South Korea and qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

ALSO READ: Reyes may change Gilas lineup for Spain

Douthit also had a brief stint with the Air21Express in the PBA and he also joined the Gilas cadets to win the 2013 Southeast Asian Games gold.

As with all the other roster spots, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes made no guarantees. He has often said that he wants the option to select more players for the pool which means some members of the team that competed last year could be dropped from the roster heading to Spain.

None of the local players have NBA-level competition for their roster spot like Douthit does. Yet, he chose to throw his support to the team.

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