SIX months removed from their heated confrontation in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, Marcio Lassiter and Terrence Romeo find each other on the same side as they try to have a fresh start in San Miguel.
Tension was expected as the two met for the first time in practice since the trade that brought Romeo from TNT KaTropa to San Miguel, but Lassiter expected things to be different now that they're teammates.
"I don’t know if it’s gonna be awkward. But it’s just gonna be different," Lassiter as the Beermen resumed their practice on Wednesday, ahead of their quest for a five-peat in the 2019 Philippine Cup.
"Like I said, he’s my teammate now and what we have in the past, if he wanna say something, that’s on him."
Lassiter and Romeo drew each other's ire when San Miguel met TNT in the eliminations of the second conference as they both found themselves ejected in that game.
It turns out, Lassiter wasn't the only one who engaged when Romeo blew his temper.
Reports have surfaced pointing to Romeo's emotions as one of the reasons for his falling out with TNT, with KaTropa players even going as far as wanting him out of the team. It didn't take long before he was shipped to the Beermen in exchange for Brian Heruela, David Semerad, and a future first-round pick.
Lassiter said he understands the raw emotions that competitive players like Romeo bring to the table.
But at the same time, the San Miguel core is just as competitive, and for players who are coming in to the Beermen's ecosystem, it's all a matter of channeling those emotions and turning it into a positive.
"You wanna have that emotion, but at the same time, me, Chris (Ross), Alex (Cabagnot), June Mar (Fajardo), and Arwind (Santos), we've actually won a championship and we know how to put it together. The guys who haven’t won, I don’t know. But we know how to win here, so at the end of the day, we wanna put it together and use their strengths and use them to be a better team. We’re not gonna change for another player and we never did that in the years I’ve been here," he said.
"We’ve been doing it the San Miguel Beermen style, that it’s not all June Mar, it was always a team. Just because another guy’s coming in, we’re definitely gonna incorporate his strengths into our system and we’re gonna leave it at that."