As an ardent Golden State Warriors fan, San Miguel Beer gunner Marcio Lassiter believes the embattled defending champions have what it takes to recover from a daunting 1-3 deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their Western Conference finals and keep their bid alive for a second straight NBA crown.
The Warriors found themselves on the receiving end of another Thunder flurry on Tuesday night (Wednesday in Manila), absorbing a 94-118 setback in Game 4 that put them on the brink of elimination despite a record-setting 73-9 win-loss record during the regular season.
But the 6-foot-2 Lassiter still has high hopes for the Warriors, saying they have all the tools to duplicate what the Beermen have done before by completely rallying from a more challenging 0-3 series deficit against the Alaska Aces in the Philippine Cup early this year.
“They’re a great team. They’re gonna do what they have to do. They have the Coach of the Year and the MVP,” he said on Wednesday at the end of Gilas Pilipinas’ practice, referring to Warriors coach Steve Kerr and superstar playmaker Stephen Curry, who was recently named as the league MVP for the second straight season.
The Western Conference finals series shifts back to the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday (Friday in Manila) and Lassiter feels the Warriors, right back at the comforts of their homecourt, will display their resilient form.
“They’re gonna fight back,” he said. “They’re gonna get (back) at home and bounce back and play in Game 6 (in Oklahoma City). And they’re gonna steal one there and get (the series) to a Game 7.”
But Lassiter knows it’s easier said than done since “Curry’s had an off night while Draymond (Green) kinda had the same. We’ll see and i’m a little excited about that.”
Lassiter’s Gilas Pilipinas teammate, Ray Parks, is convinced the Warriors really have their hands full in trying to overcome such deficit as the 6-foot-3 Curry has yet to recover fully from an ankle injury.
“You get banged up, your leader Stephen Curry is going through injuries, and I know for sure he’s not a hundred percent. He may say that he’s back but it’s tough coming off an injury being a basketball player,” said the 6-foot-4 Parks.
“OKC is playing well. Golden State, I don’t know what’s going on. They just need some rethinking to do. It’s tough that many games and go into the playoffs and try to win every single game too,” he added. — By Jerome Lagunzad