Douthit Doubtful for IRAN Final
SMART Gilas center Marcus Douthit, in an interview with TV5 Sports’ correspondent Erika Tapalla said he would not be able to play in the finals against IRAN. After a post up move against Kim Jung Soon of South Korea, Douthit re-injured his left shin.
The naturalized 6’11” center who has powered SMART Gilas Pilipinas through out the tournament will be sorely missed. He said, “Its amazing we got the win it’s the heart of the Filipino. How strong we are together, we’re one team, one heart just like coach said. As far as tomorrow, I don’t think I’ll be able to go tomorrow. Let’s just enjoy this moment right now and give this game to the people.”
SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) President Manny V Pangilinan also in an interview with Erika Tapalla said, “Masayang masaya, I’m happy for the team happy for the country. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng sumuporta and every night that we played. Napaka ganda ng crowd they cheered for the team I think that’s the main reason the team played well tonight without Douthit.”
IRAN has NBA player Hammed Hadadi who is a center for MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES. Douthit would have been the only one to legitimately defend the 7’2”, 265 pound IRANIAN in the middle. The only thing that’s going for SMART Gilas right now is momentum and the heart displayed by the players on the court and the fans.
Jimmy Alapag talked about their win against South Korea, “We’re coming with the strength of our country. All the millions supporting us at home, the thousands who are here, its all for them. Words can’t describe the feeling right now. This country’s been so much in international basketball the tough losses. With the crowd support we’ve been getting this entire tournament we’re not gonna let them get out of here with a win tonight.”
Analyst and PBA coach Richard del Rosario at the TV5 Sports center said that everything has fallen into place for an embattled RP team. For him having the FIBA Asian Championships held here was the first of several factors. Even the loss to CHINESE TAIPEI worked to our favor when QATAR eliminated them. And powerhouse CHINA was eliminated from the quarterfinals. For him team Philsppines is was destined to qualify to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, “Talagang destiny na, parang pelikula na di ko maintindihan. Nabugbog na tayo sa umpisa lumaban pa tayo, na wala pa yug isang bida na si Marcus Douthit pero talagang lahat ng bida lumabasa na sa kupunan natin. Coach Chot Reyes he deserves all the congratulations. Pinaka mahalaga nag kaisa yung buong bansa para sa kupunan.”
Coach Yeng Guiao added, “We also have to thank the board of governors ng PBA pinahiram nila yung players . The players themselves di nila inisip sarili nila. They could be injured and lose a contract to play.”
Coach Chot Reyes could not help but shed tear of joy after the historic win, “One of a kind win, its gotta be the best victory of my career. Tama sinabi mo puso lang nothing else but pure heart. Just all the emotion all the effort, the expectations lahat ng pagod, hirap, lumabas lang.”
Player of the game Marc Pingris thanked his family who watched the game including his father Vic Sotto. Incidentally Sotto is slated to come back to the TV5 show WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE. An emotional Pingris credited prayers and the fans, “Nag papray ako nung na sprain ako gusto ko bigyan mo ko ng lakas. Yon Na kuha natin gusto natin salamat sa Pilipinong sumuporta. Sigaw pa lang nila buhay na buhay kami. Energy naming ,Sa lahat ng Pilipino maraming maraming salamt kung di po dahil sa inyo wala itong panalo. Gusto ko magpasalamat sa daddy ni Danica sa mga kids ko.”