PSC, SBP: Sure Asiad slots for Douthit, Alapag
INCHEON, South Korea—Philippine team chief of mission Richie Garcia and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan gave assurances yesterday that Marcus Douthit and Jimmy Alapag have secured slots in the Gilas Pilipinas national team at the Asian Games here.
Garcia, also the Philippine Sports Commission chair, said Douthit and Alapag have been officially listed in the national five following a strong appeal made by the Philippines before the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (IAGOC) during the delegation registration meeting last Sept. 11.
“Douthit is a legitimate inclusion to the team. He was not accepted as a replacement for Andray Blatche,” Garcia reiterated to clear questions on Douthit’s spot.
Pangilinan, one of the country’s top business leaders who was recently named to the powerful Fiba (International Basketball Federation) central board, said no questions were raised on the eligibility of Douthit and Alapag.
Fears were also raised that Gilas’ rivals for the gold medal would question the inclusion of Douthit and Alapag in the team during today’s technical meeting.
The Philippines is among the favorites to win the basketball gold, especially after Gilas, playing with Douthit as its naturalized entry, secured a runner-up finish in last year’s Fiba Asia Championship in Manila.
That strong finish rewarded the Philippines a ticket to the Fiba World Cup where Gilas notched a win over Senegal after close defeats to four world-caliber rivals.
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