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Lassiter's 'slump' never worried SMB coach Leo Austria

MANILA, Philippines – Fans of the San Miguel Beermen breathed a collective sigh of relief after Marcio Lassiter knocked down a deep triple just 21 seconds into Game 3 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals against the TNT KaTropa last Sunday.

Shockingly, it was only Lassiter's first three-pointer of the best-of-seven series. San Miguel's resident outside sniper had missed his first 11 triples in the Finals, after shooting 42.2% from beyond the arc in the elimination round.

Marcio Lassiter had 16 points in Game 3. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau
Thus, to see Lassiter finally connect on a three-pointer eased the SMB fans' worries, but for the team's head coach, Leo Austria, his player's "slump" was never an issue.

"It's not really a slump," assured Austria after San Miguel hacked out a 109-97 win in Game 2, with Lassiter scoring 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting, including 2-of-7 from beyond the arc.

"We have to understand Marcio," he explained. "During the semifinals (against Star), talagang inaasawa siya ng bantay niya eh, hindi umaalis. But he will still have the long playing time sa amin."

Indeed, even as he proceeded to miss all five of his three-pointers in Game 2, Lassiter still played 31 minutes – the most in the team. He finished with only eight points, but the Beermen came away with a 102-88 win, and Austria stressed that Lassiter remained a huge factor in the win.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/06/27/17/pba-lassiters-slump-never-worried-smb-coach-leo-austria

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