MARCIO Lassiter was inconsolable following Team Pilipinas' 0-2 campaign in the fifth window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
"It hurts. It hurts really deep," he said, aware of the disappointment felt by fans who trooped to the Mall of Asia Arena to show their support for the nationals.
"To be here at home and play in front of this incredible crowd, it's amazing. But we didn't get the job done."
Friday's 92-88 defeat to Kazakhstan on Bonifacio Day drew 16,798 paying fans, while Monday's shocker of a 78-70 loss to Iran lured a crowd of 14,473 fans.
Both losses left a bad taste in Lassiter's mouth, especially with the sweet-shooting sniper playing in front of a massive home crowd for the first time in years.
"The last two games were my first time in a national team playing at home in a while. The losses, it really hurt," said Lassiter, who hit three treys against Iran in the first quarter but fell silent the rest of the way.
The San Miguel gunner played in the Philippines' 92-81 win over Qatar last September 17, but that game was played behind closed doors at Smart Araneta Coliseum as part of the country's penalties for the July brawl against Australia.
Before that, Lassiter's last home game was with the original Smart Gilas squad, where the Rajko Toroman-mentored crew finished fourth in the 2011 Fiba Asia Champions' Cup at Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Though defeated, Lassiter was unbowed.
"I'm still proud of the players. The players really performed to the best of our abilities and I know we gave our 110-percent. There's no discredit to the players that played tonight. However, again, we didn't get the job done," he said.
The pair of losses dropped the Philippines to fourth place in Group F in the second round of the Asian qualifiers, in danger of missing the bus to next year's global showpiece in China with its 5-5 record.
But a defiant Lassiter isn't giving up, promising that Team Pilipinas will buckle down to work to build better chemistry ahead of the sixth and final window in February.
"I know that we're not out of it. We have this fighter's chance and we want to make sure that everything is gonna be okay. We just got to regroup and see what happens then," he said.
"I'm not big on promises, but you know what, we're gonna fight our heart out and the good thing is we could avenge a loss that we should've had here (against Kazakhstan) and we know we could beat Qatar, so we might have a higher chance.
"But there's no promise if we don't put the effort. Put out the effort, good things are gonna happen. When the time comes, we're gonna be dialing as one and knowing that we felt this loss, we're gonna bring it next window."