IS it a case of too late the hero for Marcio Lassiter to join Gilas Pilipinas?
It appeared so.
On Sunday, doctors finally gave the Fil-Am gunner of San Miguel the go-signal to start doing light exercises as he continues to recover from a bad case of broncopneumonia. As per estimate, he needs at least a week to fully regain about 90 percent of his strength.
Unfortunately, it’s also during that stretch when the national team will be in the midst of its on-court training from its European camp in the mountains of Karpenisi, Greece, where it is currently based as it prepares for the coming Manila leg of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“We have informed (team manager) Mr. Butch Antonio about the timeline, but it does not fit with the Gilas schedule,” said Marvin Espiritu, who represents the 29-year-old wingman.
Espiritu approximates Lassiter could probably be ready to go at least for about a week or on June 20, by which time, the national team is done with its Greece training and will be bound for Istanbul to play a tune-up match with the Turkey national squad.
“I think yung Greece training, malabo na yun,” stressed Espiritu, adding he’s been in constant communication with Antonio since Gilas left for Europe last Friday.
“By Monday pa lang siya magsisimula talaga ng training on his own. And mahirap pumunta sa training camp ng Gilas with him only at half strength because intense na ang training ng team. Mahirap din namang mapuwersa dahil baka mabinat din naman siya.”
So is Lassiter officially out of Gilas?
“I think Mr. Antonio will be in the better position to say that,” Espiritu noted. “As far as Marcio is concerned, he’s not pulled himself out of Gilas. It just so happened that circumstances would not allow him to join the team."
The young players agent said Lassiter is obviously disappointed over what happened, not so much on him not being able to join Gilas, but more on the circumstances surrounding it.
“It’s something that he didn’t foresee kaya he’s very frustrated right from the start,” said Espiritu of Lassiter, who also yet to attend the daily practices of his mother ballclub San Miguel.