ANTIPOLO – San Miguel gunner Marcio Lassiter and his coach Leo Austria both consider their loss to Mahindra to start their Commissioner's Cup campaign a 'blessing in disguise' as it brought the Beermen — still fresh from their historic feat in the Philippine Cup — back to their senses.
“It was definitely a wake-up call (for us),” Austria said of their 96-102 loss to the Enforcers in the Beermen's mid-season tournament debut held in Binan, Laguna. “We played relaxed (during the game). That’s what we did.”
“After that nagising yung mga players, nag-iba 'yung body language nila sa practice,” Austria added. “Na-surprise nga ako and I told them in order for us to be successful, we have to have some struggle.”
That was enough for the team to immediately get back to work, especially with a 0-4 start that doomed the Beermen in this same conference last year, shortly after winning the all-Filipino conference, still fresh in the players' minds.
San Miguel has since gotten back on track and won its next two games, including a 108-96 beating of Blackwater on Wednesday night at the Ynares Center here.
Lassiter finished with 11 points, three rebounds, and three assists in the win.
“It’s a momentum builder for us (these last two wins),” said the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart, who now looks forward to the Beermen’s potentially explosive showdown against unbeaten league-leader Meralco this Saturday in Legaspi City.
“We just have to use this as momentum and continue going,” added Lassiter.