San Miguel Beer’s sharp shooting guard Marcio Lassiter is set to join Gilas Pilipinas practice when it resumes practice on Tuesday morning at the Meralco gym in Ortigas, Pasig.
The 6-foot-2 Lassiter skipped Gilas’ 4 recent trainings last week to rest his left knee.
His agent, Marvin Espiritu, said the 2013 PBA Comeback Player of the Year suffered a left knee contusion in Game 2 of San Miguel’s Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series against Rain or Shine.
“Magpapakita na yun (in Gilas practice). Pahinga lang naman siya, knee contusion lang which he suffered in the Rain or Shine series,” Espiritu told FOX Sporrs on Monday.
“Game 2 pa lang, nagkaroon ng collision with Jewel Ponferada. Hindi na masyado na-highlight dahil behind din sa series so he was playing hurt in the series.”
The 29-year-old Lassiter shot a horrendous 2-of-20 from the field in the 1st two games of the semifinal series, including 1-of-14 from the three-point zone.
Lassiter managed to bounce back with a personal conference-best 30 points in San Miguel’s 104-98 victory in Game 3.
But Rain or Shine finished off San Miguel, 124-99 to close out it out with a 3-1 semifinal series win.
The arrival of Lassiter could easily add scoring depth for Gilas, which currently has combo guards Terrence Romeo and Jayson Castro in the pool, stretch-four Ranidel de Ocampo, along with Jeff Chan, who is expected to join the practice also on Tuesday after a 5-day rest.
Meantime, The former Cal State Fullerton alumnus will have a homecoming of sorts at Gilas, having been part of the original Smart-Gilas program that was handled by Serbian Rajko Toroman.
After his collegiate stint in the US, Lassiter played for Smart-Gilas in the Fiba Asia Stankovic Cup in 2010, the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China as well as the 2011 Fiba-Asia men’s championships in Wuhan, China, where the Philippines placed 4th.
Lassiter then joined the 2011 PBA Draft where he was selected 4th overall by Powerade Tigers.
Other than Lassiter and Chan, also reporting for practice come Tuesday are Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee, the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP and Gabe Norwood, as well as Alaska’s Calvin Abueva.
Players from both Rain or Shine and Alaska were given a 5-day break by Gilas coach Tab Baldwin to rest after a grueling Finals series that ended last week. – By Richard Dy
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