MANILA, Philippines - The Senate has responded to the request of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to facilitate the hearing on the naturalization of American basketball player Marcus Douthit for the purpose of including him in the roster of the national team for the upcoming Asian Games in China.
During yesterday’s plenary session, a motion was made by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri to suspend the rules of the Senate regarding the need to inform the members of a committee about an upcoming hearing to allow the justice committee to hear the matter today.
It is expected that Douthit’s request for naturalization would be approved by the Senate after the same was acted upon favorably by the House of Representatives last week.
The House has approved House Bill No. 2307 granting Douthit full Filipino citizenship.
If the Senate decides to adopt the decision of the House, then the 6-11 Douthit would be eligible to play for the Smart Gilas Pilipinas national team in this November’s Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
Douthit, who is currently training with the Smart Gilas team, would join other notable players in the squad including Philippine Basketball Association players Asi Taulava, Kelly Williams and Japeth Aguilar.
Last week, SBP executive director Noli Eala appealed to the Senate to act on the application of Douthit before Oct. 16 or when Congress goes on break until Nov. 7.
Marvin Sy, Philippine Star