AS time ticked away and San Miguel still down by two, 110-108, Marcio Lassiter created just enough separation to get a 'Hail Mary' shot off Star defender Justin Melton.
Lassiter’s three ball bounced off the glass before dropping to the bottom of the net, leading San Miguel to a pulsating 111-110 victory over the Hotshots and a 2-1 lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
“I called game,” Lassiter said with a sheepish smile, echoing the words of recently retired former NBA star Paul 'The Truth' Pierce when asked if he deliberately banked in the game-winner.
“Yeah, of course everyone heard it, I called bank, I meant to do that,” Lassiter continued while laughing.
For Lassiter, this was the kind of moment that was taken away from him a year ago in Game Two of the semifinals of this same conference against Rain or Shine.
Down by two against the Elasto Painters, Lassiter had to put up an off-balanced shot from the same exact spot, which incidentally also had the help of the backboard before it went in.
That shot didn’t count – but this time around, there was no question about the time and Lassiter can finally celebrate a game winner at the buzzer.
“You know it was kind of cool to be in that moment. Last year I also had a buzzer-beater, this is not a fluke shot,” said Lassiter, who was relatively quiet the whole game before finishing with 12 points on 4-8 shooting.
“It was just a split second, I didn’t get it off. I’m just kind of glad this one went in and it seems like God blessed me today,” he added.
Coach Leo Austria was so elated about Lassiter’s game-winner he compared his forward to Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry.
Lassiter is a known fan of the recently crowned NBA champions.
“With the presence of mind of Marcio, alam niya e. He wants to win eh,” Austria said. "He had an open lane and they were in penalty. But he took that shot, he used that shot, the three points a la Steph Curry.”
Lassiter, naturally flattered with the comparison, said they were just watching too much Warriors.
“Maybe because we’re watching a lot of Warriors lately, maybe the championship kinda spilled on for us, honestly, it was just great.”