MANILA, Philippines — Smart-Gilas Pilipinas’ American import Marcus Douthit is optimistic that his application to become a naturalized Filipino will be approved by the Senate before the Oct. 16 deadline for submission of the delegates to the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
“We always have to be positive,” said Douthit, whose application for naturalization (House Bill No. 2307) was approved on the third reading recently by the House of Representatives via a 212-9 vote.
The 6-foot-10 Douthit needs a Philippine passport to apply for accreditation in the Asian Games set to start November 12 to 27.
His application has been forwarded to the Senate for deliberation, and, once it grants the 30-year-old Douthit a Filipino citizenship, the documents will then be given to the Office of the President for signing.
Only then he can only apply for a Philippine passport.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Noli Eala said they are hoping the process “will all be completed not later than October 16,” since the association also needs to apply for accreditation from the Asian Games organizers.
The Senate will have a three-week break before resuming its session on November 7.
“My family and I, and even the team are hoping and praying everything will get done in the next 10 days. I am training hard to be ready for the Asian Games so let’s hope for the best,” said Douthit.
Waylon Galvez, Manila Bulletin