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After days of recovering from bronchopneumonia, ace guard Marcio Lassiter is finally healthy and doctors cleared him to start regaining his strength with gradual basketball related workouts.
That’s the good news.
The bad news, it would take him at least a week to reach his full strength.
With that, the chances of Lassiter joining Gilas Pilipinas training in Europe has become slimmer – probably shutting the door for the top shooter to make it to the national team for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) here.
“That’s the latest on Marcio. He’s been cleared doctors, but it would take about a week, probably five to six days for him to have his full strength,” Marvin Espitiru, the player-agent who represents Lassiter in a telephone interview yesterday by the Bulletin/Tempo.
“By that time Marcio’s ready to go, the national team is already halfway on its training in Europe. So it’s kind of pointless for him to join Gilas… unless they would tell us, ‘that’s fine, we’d love to have Marcio here’, so we don’t know,” added Espiritu.
The side of Lassiter, through Espiritu, has been in constant communication with Gilas team manager Butch Antonio even after the national team left for Greece last Friday for a nine-day training camp.
The decision if Lassiter should be allowed to rejoin the national team is up to mentor Tab Baldwin, who left Lassiter out of the 14-man roster for the Europe trip but reportedly left the door open assuming the San Miguel Beer guard is healthy enough to play.
Espiritu said that there is no doubt about Lassiter regaining his full strength.
“The issue is the circumstances, especially with the time frame,” Espiritu said.
“No question – Marcio will be able to play, he’ll regain his full strength. However, does he have enough time to join the national team in Europe? I think that’s the big question,” he added.