Perasol’s appeal to Coke management
By Waylon Galvez
Manila, Philippines – Powerade mentor Bo Perasol has one appeal to the Coke management – don’t ever trade Marcio Lassiter.
Believing that Lassiter is a vital part in their quest to end their long title drought, Perasol insists that the only way they can challenge the league giants is to keep Lassiter in the lineup.
The 6-foot-2 Lassiter, No. 4 pick in last year’s PBA Rookie Draft who figured well in the Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference (BPC) race, is the center of trade negotiations between the Tigers and the Petron Blaze Boosters.
Though PBA Commissioner Chito Salud already vetoed the deal last Monday during the Board of Governors ‘special’ meeting, there’s still a chance that Petron can get Lassiter who is fast emerging as the best slasher in the league right now.
The original proposal is for Lassiter to be shipped to Petron in exchange of sophomore forwards Noy Baclao and Rey Guevara.
Saying the deal was not fair enough, Salud advised both parties to revise the proposal.
Sources said that the new package will now include another sophomore of Petron in last season’s Rookie of the Year Rabah Al-Hussaini together with Guevara. Like Lassiter, the two are also products of the Smart- Gilas program.
However, Perasol said that any player joining them in a trade for Lassiter will be hard for the team.
“If I’m going to decide right now as coach, I’ll not go for any trade,” Perasol told the Bulletin. “If they’re looking to win a championship in the PBA, why are they trying to trade one of the team’s best players?”
“I don’t know if there’s a coach who will agree in trading a player who is so valuable to the team that recently played in the championship series. If they really have a deeper reason why they’re doing this, I’ll respect it. But if you ask me if I’m for it… no,” said Perasol.
Perasol said that it’s not just the talent that counts.
While the other players have the potentials, the Powerade mentor said that chemistry of the team is more important with Lassiter already a key part of the Tigers with veteran guard Gary David and fellow rookie JV Casio.
With David, Casio and Lassiter– the team’s version of “Big Three” – Powerade had an unbelievable playoff run in the all-Filipino conference, beating top seed twice-to-beat B-Meg during the quarterfinals and Rain or Shine in the best-of-seven semifinals series.
Though they lost to defending champion Talk ’N Text in the Finals in five games of the seven-game showdown, the Tigers earned respect and adulation from PBA followers.
Powerade opened its campaign in the Commissioner’s Cup with a 122-120 win over Rain or Shine last Sunday.
Meanwhile, three teams from the Philippine Basketball Association leave tonight for Dubai, UAE to play two games in that Gulf state.
The 95-man contingent led by PBA Commissioner Chito Salud will take off at 11:55 p.m. via Etihad Airways. The contingent also included the Rain or Shine, Barako Bull and Barangay Ginebra ballclubs.
ROS, which lost its first two games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, is scheduled to play against Barako Bull at 8 p.m. Thursday Dubai time (12 midnight Manila time) and against Barangay Ginebra at 7 p.m. Friday (11 pm Manila time). Both games are to be played at the Al Shabab Club.
Edwin Deang, chairman of the organizing Philippine Expats Basketball Club (PEBC) said the two-day event promises to be a box-office hit.
Last year, the PBA also played two games in Dubai featuring Talk N’ Text, Barangay Ginebra and B-Meg.
Salud said the PBA is committed to bringing the PBA anywhere in the region where there are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
“We consider all OFWs modern day heroes of our country. Hopefully, by bringing the games closer to them we are able to bring joy and inspiration to them,” Salud said.
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