MARCIO Lassiter's heart breaks knowing that he won't be with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.
"It hurts, it really hurts," he said, with a grade two MCL sprain on his left knee forcing him to stay on the sidelines.
"I've been gearing up my whole body for this and I want that challenge to be there and compete against the best, not just in Asia but in the world."
It is truly a painful situation for the 32-year-old Lassiter to not be with a Philippine squad that he feels is one of the best ever.
"It's a moment every player wishes to be there. I worked so hard to be in that position. I gave the last three windows all I can and shot extremely well," he said. "It's just really unfortunate that I can't be there. There's always that next window, but there's no guarantee that the team that we have is gonna be this good of a team."
Without Lassiter though, the San Miguel sniper expressed confidence in the shooters left in the national team pool, namely Matthew Wright and Roger Pogoy.
"I have full confidence in our shooters, most especially Matthew and Pogoy. I've seen them first hand when they practiced and these guys can really shoot the ball and if they're given the opportunity, I know that they're going to seize the moment," he said.
Lassiter also took the chance to give some reminders to the duo when he visited the team practices, urging them to not be gun-shy when the opportunity presents itself.
"As much as I want to be out there, I can't so I just advise them to shoot their shot," he said, while also heaping trust on coach Yeng Guiao's system.
"Shoot it when you get it and have confidence in coach Yeng's system. He's really gonna set all our shooters up for great opportunities so they just have to capitalize and stay in the moment."