MARCIO Lassiter said he was disappointed to miss the opportunity to play for Gilas Pilipinas and help in the country’s bid to qualify for the Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
The San Miguel gunner stressed how he really wanted to play for the national team in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Manila last week, only to be hindered by the broncopneumonia he contracted while Gilas was in the middle of its two-month training.
Lassiter didn’t recover from the infection until the team was already in Europe for the final phase of its preparation for the qualifier.
“It hurts to sit there at home and watch. But maybe it was God’s will. I’m not sure,” said Lassiter, speaking on the issue for the first time following his failure to don the national colors in the Manila qualifier.
“It hurts a lot not to be there.”
In as much as he really wanted to play for the national team, the 29-year-old Fil-Am out of Cal State Fullerton said it was really not meant to be.
Even until now, or about a month since his recovery, Lassiter said he’s not yet fully back 100 percent in the pink of health.
“I don’t think so. It will take time, but I’m working on it. I’m still trying to do what I have to do,” he said after finishing with 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting, six rebounds, and six assists but with five turnovers in San Miguel’s 124-113 win over Phoenix in its debut game in the PBA Governors Cup.
But he said the 12 players – and the two reserves in Calvin Abueva and LA Tenorio – were all deserving to be in the Gilas roster
“As much as I want to be out there, I knew the guys out there will definitely perform. I knew it, more and more practice, I knew they’re out to perform,” said the San Miguel wingman.
Despite Gilas’ failure to make the semifinals of the qualifiers after losing both of its games in the preliminary against France and New Zealand, respectively, Lassiter said the team has nothing to be ashamed of.
“I’m so proud for all of them. They played with tremendous heart, they gave their all. There’s nothing you can say more on what they did,” he said of the national team.
“Even the coaching staff. I know they’ve been working extremely hard. It’s just sad that they came up short. But I honestly know the importance of them to keep on, and be better and better.”