Guiao not looking far for Lassiter replacement, but still hoping for his quick recovery
MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao is sticking to his national team pool as he searches for a possible replacement for injured shooting guard Marcio Lassiter.
Lassiter suffered a type 2 medial collateral ligament tear in his left knee during the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and is set to miss around six weeks of basketball due to the injury.
“We’re just looking at the pool itself, we won’t be adding anyone anymore,” said Guiao during the press conference of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Naismith Trophy tour at Meralco Compound Friday.
“At this point, it’s too late and the guys have been practicing and they’ve invested their time and effort to the team and they should get the opportunity to step up so we have no plans of naming new players. We’ll see who can take on those shoes of Marcio.”
Lassiter, who plays for San Miguel in the PBA, is considered as one of the top shooting guards in the league having amassed seven titles, six All-Star appearances, and inclusion to the All-Defensive and Mythical First Team.
The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists during the Asian Qualifiers for the World Cup where he played in six games against Iran, Qatar, and Kazakhstan.
Guiao, however, isn’t giving up on Lassiter and he hopes that there would be a small miracle that would allow the wingman to make a speedy recovery.
The World Cup will tip-off on August 31 while Lassiter’s expected return is in the middle part of September.
Nonetheless, Guiao said that he wants Lassiter to travel with Gilas to China even if he doesn’t make the final cut due to the injury.
“I haven’t given up on Marcio, we’re hoping that he’s able to recover quickly and I made the proposal to the SBP [Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas] to actually have Marcio come with the team even if he’s not in the final 12,” said Guiao.
“This is an appreciation for what he’s done to the team with his previous stints with us.”
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