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    Friendships cast aside as Lassiter takes on Rajko's team in semis

    Dec 7, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    MARCIO Lassiter started his national team career with Rajko Toroman as coach.

    A decade later, his first coach in the country will be on the other end of the court as the Philippines takes on Indonesia in the men's basketball semifinals of the 30th Southeast Asian Games on Monday.

    As much as it will be a reunion of sorts, the sweet-shooting winger vowed that there won't be any pleasantries given Gilas Pilipinas' intention of winning the gold and keeping its position as the region's standard.

    "Coach Rajko is my first coach. I played a lot with him, I learned a lot, and he helped me develop as a player," the San Miguel sniper said. "But we're definitely not gonna play with friendship or anything like that."

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      Toroman just recently took over the Indonesian team and has guided his side to a 2-1 record in Group B to book a semifinal ticket.

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      Gilas, meanwhile, swept Group A and will head to the game with a lot of momentum, especially after its 136-67 trouncing of Myanmar on Saturday, with Lassiter burying five triples to end up with 15 points.

      The 32-year-old gunner said he's excited for the faceoff.

      "It's gonna be great to play against him, and at the same time, we know what's at stake," he said. "We're gonna definitely play as hard as we can because we want to get to the final round."

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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