MANILA, Philippines – With a heavy heart, Marcus Douthit bade Gilas Pilipinas and the Filipino fans goodbye, grateful for the rare chance to backstop the national team as naturalized player the last five years.
“I just want to thank everyone for accepting me to represent such a great country. I will always be thankful!!! PUSO,” Douthit posted on his Twitter account @DouthitMarcus.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has announced it would no longer extend Douthit’s contract which expires next month with the cage body opting to tap pro-bound Moala Tautuaa as backup to naturalized player Andray Blatche.
Spending the best years of his playing career with Gilas, Douthit and his Gilas teammates had their finest moment in August 2013 when they punched a ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
His last tour of duty was with the Philippine team in the recent SEA Games in Singapore. The former LA Laker draftee also led Team Phl to a couple of SEAG championships and SEABA titles.
Teammates and fans, meanwhile, also expressed gratitude to the basketball warrior who was a big key in the Philippines’ return to the FIBA World Cup last year after 36 long years of wait.
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“An amazing ride these last four years my brother. Thank you for all you’ve done for Philippine basketball,” said former Gilas skipper Jimmy Alapag on his own Twitter account @jalapag3.
To which Douthit replied: “Hey thanks for everything bro. I will ride and die with you anywhere forever my brothers.”
Douthit’s farewell message likewise drew inspiring responses on social media, all thanking the American for helping the country reach its current status on the world stage.