Thursday, October 14, 2010

No import for Philippine basketball team in Asian Games

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No import for Philippine basketball team in Asian Games
The Philippine basketball team will not field a naturalised player in the upcoming Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
American Marcus Douthit will miss the trip to China after his application for Philippine citizenship was not approved by President Benigno Aquino III in time for yesterday's Senate hearing.
Sen Juan Miguel Zubiri, who sponsored the bill that will grant Philippine citizenship to the burly American, said the measure was not passed on the third and last reading on Wednesday, which is also the last day of the Senate session.
“They could have certified several other bills and then made this number four or number five (but) that’s all water under the bridge and we are running out of time. I would like to share my frustrations with this fact,” Zubiri said.
Zubiri spearheaded the fast-tracking of Douthit's papers to allow the former Los Angeles Lakers draft pick to suit up for the national team in the quadrennial meet.
Under FIBA rules, each country can field one naturalised player in international competitions.
Governing body Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was hoping that Douthit could reinforce the young squad in the Asiad along with professional players Asi Taulava and Kelly Williams, who were both loaned from the Philippine Basketball Association.
The other members of the Guangzhou-bound team earlier submitted by the SBP to the Philippine Olympic Committee are amateurs Chris Tiu, Mark Barroca, Mac Baracael, JV Casio, Dylan Ababou, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, Jason Ballesteros, Marcio Lassiter and Aldrech Ramos.
Professional player Solomon Mercado and Filipino-American Chris Lutz have also been tapped to join the team coached by Serbian Rajko Toroman.
The Philippines needs to beat Saudi Arabia in a knock-out game to qualify for the group stage of the Asian Games basketball competition. The Filipinos were relegated to the qualifiers after failing to send a team to the 2006 Doha Asian Games.

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