Another import prospect with a decent credential will try out for the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas five.
Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman said Marcus Douthit, a 6-foot-10 former NBA draftee, has scheduled a visit to Manila on June 8, to show his wares as candidate for naturalization for the national squad.
Douthit, 30, was picked by the LA Lakers in the second round of the 2004 NBA Draft, which had a talented freshman class led by top pick Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala and Atlanta's Josh Smith, among others.
Also included in that NBA rookie batch were Lebanon's naturalized player Jackson Vroman (Chicago) and Korean beanpole Ha Seung-Jin (Portland).
The 235-pound Douthit hopes to fill up Gilas’ need for a mobile big man, a key factor in the RP five’s bid to overcome the tough opposition in the 2011 Fiba Asia Champions Cup.
“We need a tough rebounder who could also post up effectively in the shaded area and push us harder on the court,'' said Toroman.
Smart Gilas’ first two candidates for naturalization proved unworthy.
CJ Giles, an LA Lakers draftee, was dropped due to his erratic behavior while NBA journeyman Jamal Sampson was bugged with various injuries.
Toroman tapped Milan Vucicevic as import in the just-concluded 21st Fiba Asia Champions Cup here, which served as testing ground for the 6-foot-10 Serbian.
“Milan is a good player. He had double-double figures in this tournament but we need a stronger player,'' said Toroman.
Aside from Vucicevic, Toroman had also considered former UCLA standout Michael Fey of Al Rayyan and United Arab Emirates import Jones Bernard.
Douthit played for US NCAA Division I Providence College and saw action for the Daegu Orions in the Korean Basketball League in 2006 after being waived by NBA teams.
Douthit had several stints in the European league. He suited up for Buyuksehir Belediyesi in Turkey before averaging 11.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 11 games for Russia's Krasnie Krilya Samara in the 2010 Euro Challenge.
“I haven’t seen him play but he looks good. His stats are good and playing in the Euroleague with decent numbers is not easy,” said Toroman.