WHATEVER hope Gilas Pilipinas had of having a healthy Marcio Lassiter for the FIBA World Cup was dashed on Friday night.
Coach Yeng Guiao and Lassiter had a serious talk before a tune-up game against the Adelaide 36ers where the veteran gunner of San Miguel bared he couldn’t be fit in time for the August 31 to Sept. 15 meet in China.
Lassiter has yet to fully recover from an MCL sprain on his left knee which he suffered during the playoffs of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“Hindi na, wala na. Nag-usap na kami ni Marcio and hindi siya aabot,” said Guiao following Gilas Pilipinas’ 92-83 win over the 36ers.
“Sabi ko sa kanya pakiramdaman niya kung ano. Sabi niya mahirap kasi pag tine-testing niya yung tuhod niya kumakalog pa, may kalog pa. So sabi ko don’t risk it. Huwag mo ng i-risk yan,” Guiao added.
“Pero gustung-gustong niyang makahabol and maglaro sa World Cup.”
Lassiter showed up at the Meralco gym Friday to watch the nationals play their friendly against the Aussies. He described it as a ‘bad time’ for himself.
“I didn’t’ want to get hurt. But it happened,” he said. “And the road to recovery is a process.
“It hurts more that I can’t be out there on the court right now,” he added. “But I will always be there, cheering, supporting, and make sure that I can always help in other ways.
“I knew that we have a chance to be in this kind of position, and I want to be there. I worked hard to trim my body and do the things that I can necessary,” he said. “And it hurts more than anything.”
Lassiter said he’s just beginning to undergo rehab for his injured knee.
“It’s not stable. And It’s gonna take time,” he said.