Marcio Lassiter a different man in Gilas return: 'We were amateurs then, we're professionals now'
After missing out on two Gilas chances, Marcio Lassiter says he won't let the opportunity to play for the national team pass again. Jerome Ascano

MARCIO Lassiter is seizing the chance to be a part of Gilas Pilipinas once again after he missed out on a return to the national team that bagged the silver medal in the recent Fiba Asia Championship.

A member of the original Gilas squad, the San Miguel Beer sniper was again considered for Gilas 3.0, but declined as he flew to the US to attend to his ailing mother.

“I won’t let this opportunity pass again,” Lassiter said. “It’s truly an honor to even be mentioned here. It’s for the country.”

“I’ve been here before and it’s a great opportunity,” he added.

[See Baldwin: It's nice to have cream of the crop all in one court']

Fresh out of Cal State Fullerton when he first donned the national colors as part of Rajko Toroman's original Gilas side, the 28-year-old Lassiter has developed into one of the best shooters in the land in his stint in the PBA.

“We were amateurs and we’re professionals now,” the Filipino-American wingman said.

National coach Tab Baldwin welcomed the added firepower Lassiter and the rest are bringing to the squad that’s vying for top honors in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.

“We have a couple more proven shooters,” the American-Kiwi mentor said.

The 6-foot-3 Lassiter is excited of the entire squad.

‘The players that we assembled are great players,” he said. “I have confidence and I’m sure everyone has confidence in us.”

“We had a productive first day and if we continue to have productive days, I think we can make a good push for the Olympics.”

[See Fajardo says it's a privilege to play for Gilas again]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos