MANILA, Philippines (5th FIBA Asia Cup): Pinoy fans will have to wait for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup to be played in Spain from Aug 30-Sept 14 to see Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche suit up for their favourite team. For now, Marcus Douthit will remain their naturalized star and go-to man as far size is concerned.
Philippines president Benigno Aquino III gave his stamp of approval on Blatche’s candidature for naturalization last Wednesday, but there are yet some formalities of completing the procedure of acquiring Philippine citizenship. And the deadline of submission of the 24-member name list for 5th FIBA Asia Cup to be played in Wuhan (China) from July 11-19 was on July 11.
“His (Blatche) citizenship papers are not yet completed,” said Reyes in a message to this website.
The coach was quick to add that Douthit was already a part of his team pool.
“He's (Douthit) still part of the team; and that's clear to every member of my pool,” Reyes explained.
“You're here because you want to serve your country. Are you willing to make the commitment even without the assurance you'll make the final 12? If not, you'll be taken out of the pool,” he said.
Douthit for his part has steadfastly maintained a line of loyalty and trust with the coach.
“I’ll do whatever the coach wants,” has been the line taken by Douthit who like Blatche is a Syracuse born.
Douthit was one of the key factors in Philippines winning the silver medal at the 27th FIBA Asia Championship at Manila (Philippines) last year and qualifying for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup after almost four decades.
Douthit was also a part of the team that went all the way to the semifinals at the 26th FIBA Asia Championship at Wuhan (China) in 2011 before losing to Korea by a whisker in the bronze medal playoff.
At the 5th FIBA Asia Cup, Philippines will line up against Chinese Taipei, Jordan, Singapore and Uzbekistan in Group B of the Prelim Round competition. 5th FIBA Asia Cup Draw.
Philippines have a bye on the opening day of the competition but will play four games in four days starting with a game against Chinese Taipei on July 12. 5th FIBA Asia Cup Schedule.