ADD Marcio Lassiter to the Gilas Pilipinas pool players who are still feeling aches and pains sustained in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
But the San Miguel Beer sniper is not letting his minor knee injury prevent him from making a long-awaited return to the national team.
The Gilas 1.0 standout finally showed up in practice for the first time since the national team resumed training last Wednesday, baring that he took the time to recover after playing hurt since Game Two of the semifinals against Rain or Shine, which the eventual champs Elasto Painters won in four games.
“I just played through it,” Lassiter admitted. “Hopefully, managing it with therapy and hoping I don't overdo it. I continue to manage my knee and try to build to as close as one-hundred percent.”
“I'll get there,” added the SMB star, who has been out for more than two weeks. “I'm just trying to get back into it right now. It feels good to be back playing. I'm just trying to get it together, get my conditioning back, and get my strength back.”
Lassiter is fortunate he already learned the basics of coach Tab Baldwin’s system from attending Gilas practices earlier this year.
“I'm still familiar with most of the plays,” the Filipino-American cager said. “They might have added a few more, so I just try to learn the new plays.”
Lassiter is also excited to have the entire pool finally together.
“We still don't have Andray and he’s a big part for us,” he said. “But for now, we have most of the players here so we need to get as much as we can and maximize the talent that we have, so that we can get some chemistry down.”
“I think in due time, the more we work, the more we get used to each other, the more live (we’ll get) cause the first weeks we’re more of learning. The more we get into it, we'll start picking it up,” added Lassiter.