Top guns chase titles, one with a side goal
With eight titles in his trophy case, Marcio Lassiter can begin setting individual goals. As San Miguel Beer chases a 10th PBA Philippine Cup title for the franchise, Lassiter has a number he is aiming for on the side: 1,250.
That’s the number of three-point shots former TNT hotshot guard Jimmy Alapag collected in his career.
“I want to reach the top. That has been my goal ever since,” said Lassiter late Friday after the Beermen rolled to a second straight victory this season.
His counterpart at NorthPort, Robert Bolick, doesn’t have the luxury of side hustles.
That’s why as talk shifted to the recent Leo Awards that feted the top performers from the previous seasons, Bolick clarified that the lone goal right now for him and his Batang Pier teammates is a championship.
“We only have one thing in our minds, a championship,” said Bolick, who had 26 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists in NorthPort’s 100-86 victory over Terrafirma on Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
It was the second straight victory for the Batang Pier, who tied the Beermen for the share of the early lead.
It was in the Beermen’s second victory—a 100-92 victory over NLEX—that Lassiter achieved a career milestone, becoming just the ninth player in league history to make at least 1,000 triples.
“It’s in the history books [now]. So I’m just grateful and thankful,” said Lassiter, whose four treys in an 18-point performance on Friday hiked his total to 1,001 and put him in a short list that includes Alapag, Allan Caidic, Ronnie Magsanoc, Al Solis, James Yap, Dondon Hontiveros, Arwind Santos and LA Tenorio.
“Truly honored and blessed, man,” he added. “You’re talking about Hall of Fame players. Legends. The bests to do it. It’s something that you cannot really take away.”
Unlike San Miguel, which had to really gut it out in its twin victories, NorthPort has cruised in its two games, winning by an average margin of 13.5 points per game.
“This is the best team we’ve ever had,” said Bolick, who looked to coach Pido Jarencio at his side, as if seeking validation. “We haven’t had any problems, we haven’t had any issues. We go to practice, everyone is happy.”
Jarencio later agreed: “Everyone in the team is happy now.”