SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria is hoping Marcio Lassiter could make an impact much earlier than he did in Game One against Star - that is, if the Beermen hope to bounce back in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal matchup.
The Beermen surrendered a 109-105 decision in the best-of-five series opener that saw Lassiter pour in all his 12 points in the payoff period where he led an SMB fightback that barely fell short.
Austria acknowledged the Hotshots’ tight defense on the SMB sniper.
“Dahil makikita niyo naman eh: they respect Marcio a lot and then everywhere he goes, talagang kung sa tagalog pa, inaasawa na ng bantay niya,” Austria said. “Talagang he’s having a hard time to get an open shot dahil he’s a marked man.”
“Fortunately, nung huli, nagkaroon pa siya ng (12) points, four triples,” he added after Lassiter scored all his points from beyond the arc, the last one pulling them to within a point, 104-105, before Aldrech Ramos retaliated with a triple that sealed the deal.
Austria is hoping Lassiter, who shot 4-of-14 from the field overall to go with seven boards, three assists, and one steal, wouldn’t take longer to find his range in Game Two on Monday night at the MOA Arena.
“It’s a little bit late, but definitely next game, I want him to step up right away from the start,” Austria said.