SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria missed the shooting prowess of Marcio Lassiter in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals against Rain or Shine on Sunday night.
Lassiter, arguably the country’s finest shooter, fired blanks in the series opener with just three points on 1-of-9 shooting, although he did have four rebounds, three assists, and one steal against four fouls and three turnovers in 32 minutes.
“Marcio was the missing link,” Austria admitted. “He took a lot of bad shots.”
But the champion coach is careful to cuff Lassiter’s shooting hand.
“You cannot blame him because ayaw ko tanggalin yung kumpiyansa niya eh,” Austria said. “Before ginagawa din niya yun eh.”
“But I have to point it out na hindi lahat ng pagkakataon ay you have the freedom to take the shot dahil this is playoff time,” he added. “We have to play according to game plan.”
Lassiter, though, had a chance to get the lead back to the Beermen after Jeff Chan put the E-Painters up, 95-94, but his wide-open three-point attempt from the left corner missed its mark.
Still, Austria is hoping his prized gunner sticks to the game plan.
“I’m trying my best na bigyan siya ng kumpiyansa,” he said. “He’s a marked man. And I told him that it’s really hard for him to get an open shot. The only way for him to get an open shot is to get the ball to the post and on a double-team, we have to make some extra passes. Yun ang hindi namin nakikita.”
“I hope na naging receptive sila,” he added. “Constructive naman 'yung mga nangyayari dahil we’ve been into this situation.”