F (Smart Gilas) Douthit set to acquire PH citizenship - Powcast Sports

(Smart Gilas) Douthit set to acquire PH citizenship

Source: Inquirer.net
Marcus Douthit's application for naturalization will “lapse into law” in a week’s time.
Outgoing Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Noli Eala said the 6-foot-10 American could automatically obtain Filipino citizenship after March 11, or 30 days after his application was forwarded to President Aquino for signing.

Eala said there is no word yet if Aquino has affixed his signature on Douthit’s naturalization.

“It will lapse into law in about a week,” said Eala, who will officially step down as SBP executive director on March 16.

“It will be better, though, if the President signs the naturalization of Marcus.”

If naturalized as a Filipino, Douthit will become eligible to join the Smart Gilas national team in the Fiba Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, on Sept. 15 to 25. The team that tops the tournament gets an outright ticket to the 2012 London Olympics.

According to protocol, Malacañang must notify Antipolo City Rep. Robbie Puno of the status of Douthit after the prescribed date.

Puno sponsored the bill seeking Filipino citizenship for Douthit in the House of Representatives. The chamber approved the bill.

The Senate later also concurred and the bill was then submitted to Mr. Aquino for his signature.

Meanwhile, Eala will make an accomplishment report before the SBP board on March 16, his last act as executive director.

I will still be a part of the SBP board and help the organization of the Fiba Champions Cup to be hosted by the country in May,” said Eala, who is set to accept a job as consultant at San Miguel Corp.

Former PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios, Philippine Sports Commissioner Chito Loyzaga, Philippine Olympic Committee chair Monico Puentevella and former PSC chair William “Butch”’ Ramirez are the leading candidates for the post to be vacated by Eala.

Eala said Douthit’s naturalization will not only benefit Smart Gilas but other national teams in the future as well.
The 30-year-old Douthit, who played out of Providence and was selected 27th overall by the LA Lakers in the 2004 NBA Draft, has provided stability for Smart Gilas in the paint.

Douthit collected 26 rebounds and had 16 points in a dominant performance that saw the Nationals demolish Philippine Cup champion Talk N Text, 103-98, in the PBA Commissioners Cup last week.

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