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20 November, 2017
26 February, 2019
13 Marcio Tsongo Sandio Lassiter (PHI), PHI vs IRI
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Lassiter expecting boost from overseas based fans to help the Philippines through important stretch

DOHA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers) - The next few days will comprise an important stretch for the Philippines as they are holding on to a 5-5 record and aiming for one of the few remaining tickets left to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Coach Yeng Guiao has assembled a strong roster to get his team through two must-win Asian Qualifiers away games against Qatar and Kazakhstan on 21 and 24 February, respectively. Among the selected warriors to weather Team Pilipinas through this crucial stretch is gunner Marcio Lassiter.

"It’s always an honor to suit up for the flag and the country, but even more so during this critical time of our road to the World Cup," said Lassiter. "I’m always grateful and feel blessed for the opportunity and will give my all to help in any way to help us reach our goal."

The 31-year-old has played in 4 games, with 3 at home, so far for the Philippines in the Asian Qualifiers, averaging 8.5 points and 3.5 assists per game. Even though the Philippines will be playing away in the final window, Lassiter knows that he will have the undying support of national team fans wherever they play. The fans in the Philippines are already known for how supportive they can be at home, but the overseas-based Filipino fans give the team just as much of a boost as well.

"It’s a humbling experience for me to know how much support I have as a player and also as a team," he shared. "It’s exciting and feels like we could still have some type of advantage as if we were playing back home in the Philippines with the crowd being behind us. The fans out here have been more than welcoming and supportive to make us feel right at home," 

There is barely any margin of error left for the Philippines in these final two games. If they aim to make it to China for the World Cup. Lassiter and company need to close out with two straight victories in order to give themselves the best chance at making it to the big stage. The team will need to give  everything that they have, and that’s exactly what they are planning to do.

"We need to focus on playing together and carrying out our game plan for both offense and defense," Lassiter explained. "We need to bring energy."

If the Philippines are able to succeed in their quest to qualify for the World Cup, not only will they be bringing joy to all the Filipino fans at home but also to all those based abroad who are always ready to root for their beloved Team Pilipinas.