MANILA, Philippines — As loud as the Mall of Asia Arena crowd Tuesday night — rocking with every basket the Philippine team made in its all-important 80-70 win over Qatar — it went dead silent for a minute the moment Marcus Douthit went down as he clutched his right calf.
Grimacing in pain, Douthit laid on his back with his wrists covering his eyes as the crowd predominantly donning the country’s colors held its breath.
“He (Douthit) is going to get a checkup tomorrow (Wednesday),” said Smart Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes. “We don’t know but I hope it’s just a bruise.”
Douthit, one of the Nationals’ anchor on both ends of the floor, took a knee from a Qatar player on his leg at the 4:04 mark of the third quarter with the Philippines up by 23, 57-34.
“I didn’t want to bring him back anymore but Qatar made a run so we had to get him back in the ball game,” Reyes added. “But injuries are part of a tournament such as this. Let’s just all hope and pray that it’s nothing serious.”
Reyes fielded Douthit, who was visibly in pain, back in with 7:35 to go in the game after Qatar showed signs of life.
The Philippines can afford to give its naturalized center a rest with a relatively light game against winless Hong Kong Wednesday night but Reyes said, sitting out Douthit also has its ramifications.
“It’s going to depend on the condition of his knee,” Reyes said on whether Douthit will play against HK. “There’s a flip side to that, we can rest him but he might get out of the timing. Remember, we trained for this. We trained for playing all these games back to back. If we take something out of the mixture, it might affect our timing. So it’s really questionable.”
The six-foot-11 Douthit led Gilas with 19 points and 14 rebounds.