There’s a high probability that San Miguel Beer’s sharpshooting guard Marcio Lassiter will be out of Gilas Pilipinas’ 9-day training camp in Karpenisi, Greece after being cleared only by doctors to start light workout on Monday.
Lassiter’s Philippine agent Marvin Espiritu said his ward has already recovered from broncho-pneumonia, which, for the past 2 weeks, forced him to miss the national pool training at the Meralco gym.
The 29-year-old SMB sweet-shooting guard’s name wasn’t actually included in the final 14 that was announced late last week.
“Iyung time frame kasi ni Marcio, hindi nag-fit sa schedule ng Gilas because of his period of recovery,” Espiritu told FOX Sports on Monday.
“He will only start light training today (Monday) dahil ngayon lang siya nabigyan ng clearance and and assessment sa kanya is he’s at 70 percent. But it will take about a week to get him to 90 percent,” he added.
Espiritu stressed that since Gilas team manager Butch Antonio officially came out with the Final 14 last week, they have maintained an open communication on the possibility of seeing Lassiter fly to Greece this week.
“Ngayon, if that’s the case (Lassiter’s reaching 90 percent game condition on Sunday), lalabas na parang sa (June) 20 pa siya bago pa siya makasabay ng full blast sa training,” he said.
“Eh ang problema, tapos na ang on-court training ng Gilas by then and they will start preparing for tuneup games na after that,” added Espiritu, who co-founded the Espiritu-Manotoc Basketball Management (EMBM), which handles the careers of PBA players like Arwind Santos, Japeth Aguilar, Chris Lutz, among others.
So will Lassiter still be considered for Gilas after all?
Espiritu said that question can only be answered by Antonio and Gilas coach Tab Baldwin.
“Kung ang question is nasa Gilas pa ba siya or wala, we leave that sa Gilas officials). Sila na magsasabi niyan,” Espiritu said.
Lassiter, undoubtedly the PBA’s top outside shooter, was part of the Smart-Gilas program under Serbian coach Rajko Toroman.
After his collegiate stint at Cal-State Fullerton in the U.S., Lassiter played for Smart-Gilas in the Fiba Asia Stankovic Cup in 2010, the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China as well as the 2011 FIBA Asia men’s championships in Wuhan, China, where the Philippines placed 4th.
Lassiter then joined the 2011 PBA Draft where he was selected 4th overall by Powerade Tigers. – By Richard Dy
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