"I'D rather sink the game winning three-pointer of Jeff Chan than hit 10 three-pointers and lose the game."
These were the words uttered by San Miguel hotshot Marcio Lassiter, who, after hitting a playoff-record 10 three-pointers, couldn't save the Beermen from a Rain or Shine team that rallied from 20 points down to take Game Two on Saturday.
Approached by Spin.ph shortly after leading the Beermen to a 114-108 win in Game Three that gave them a 2-1 lead in the PBA Governors Cup semifinal series, Lassiter was apparently still steaming over the loss two days earlier.
"Yeah, I said that. I want to win. I felt like if we come out victorious, it doesn't matter about the stats to me," said the Fil-American deadshot.
"I mean, it's a personal achievement," he added of the three-point shooting record, 'but none of that matters for me. It's just about winning the game and trying to get closer to our goal and win the championship.
"Ten triples is a great achievement, but winning the game is more important to me. Jeff Chan won the game with that last shot. It's about winning the game first," added the pioneer member of Gilas Pilipinas.
Lassiter bared he had sleepless nights after the game and even came to the point of blaming himself for the late-game miscue that led to Chan's game-winning shot that sealed Rain or Shine's 113-110 series equalizer.
"No (I wasn't able to sleep after that game). It was tough. But you know, we have to bounce back," he said.
Bounce back he did.
The San Miguel Beer gunner scored 17 points on Monday night and led the team's torrid shooting by making four of his six three-point shots, towing the Beermen within a win of a return to the finals.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria told Spin.ph he, too, saw the frustration in the eyes of Lassiter after Game Two.
"Actually after nung game namin, it was a heartbreaking loss, he made 10 three points, kaya inakap ko siya at sinabi ko na 'It happens. Your time is now here. Focus back on the series. Keep your concentration and you will redeem yourself,'" said Austria.
Watch video of interview with Lassiter and Austria:
"Hindi talaga siya natuwa sa maling pasa niya. Sobrang sama ng loob niya. Sabi pa nga niya, 'I don't care if I made ten three point shots, the winning basket is what matters. I don't care if I didn't do something or if I am just sitting on the bench, as long as the team wins," he added.
"So sinabi ko sa kanya na mag-focus ka lang. The series is not yet over. Let's go for the win in Game Three and he did. Ang laki ng role niya nung second half.
"Sinabi ko talaga sa kanya na, 'I know you had no intention of turning over the ball. It happens. You have to think of what you did in the game, it will motivate you."
Asked about the slow first half of Lassiter, who was limited to just four points on a poor 0-of-2 field goal shooting, making only a single three-pointer in two attempts, Austria said he didn't doubt his best sniper.
"Hindi ako kinabahan na hindi siya magre-respond sa akin. Kasi alam ko na puputok at puputok siya anytime, and he did," said Austria.
"I am happy to see him especially in the second half, dahil pangit shooting niya nung first half, at andun na naman siya. Alam ko na si Marcio - sasabog 'yan eh. At hindi ako nagkamali."