DOUTHIT UPBEAT ON GILAS’ CHANCES
With the PBA at the helm, the Philippines stands a good chance of finishing in the top 3 of the coming FIBA Asia championships, which will be hosted by the country in August.
Naturalized cager Marcus Douthit told pba.ph that the PBA-backed pool is a good mixture of experienced and quality players.
“This is the best team we got to do what we need to do, and I am happy the management and our basketball officials are in this together,” said Douthit.
“I think this is a lineup put together to compete for a medal,” he added.
Douthit believes that the present Gilas is far taller than the first batch and well equipped at different positions.
“The players I was before with Gilas were young and the guys were still learning. The edge of this team is experience, and it outweighs talent,” he explained.
In support of the country’s bid to make a return trip to the World Basketball Championships, the 10 PBA teams agreed to join hands by lending at least one player each to the pool.
Douthit and the rest of the national cagers will fly to Lithuania Sunday for a two-week training camp which will involve tune-up games against top Lithuanian ballclubs..
And since the FIBA Asia will be held here on home turf, the former Los Angeles Lakers draftee is optimistic that the trend of host countries winning will continue this year.
“The competition is at home… Every single team that rose to the occasion was at home. Last year, China won… they were at home. A lot of teams get bigger chances of winning at home,” the 33-year-old center said.
Douthit is also expecting full support from the crowd when the games get going on August 1.
“I’m quite sure a lot of FIBA Asia teams don’t know how the fans here in the Philippines are. I’m glad that I am playing for the Philippines,” added Douthit. (SBadua)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.