Although the PBA has given the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas an option to pick a third player, Serbian mentor Rajko Toroman is not hurrying to get one as he’s still trying to determine the status of Fil-Am guard Marcio Lassiter.
“For the moment, no name,” Toroman said.
“We’re just looking what will happen with Marcio, who is having treatment in the US (dislocated hip),” Toroman added.
On Monday, the PBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the request of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), allowing Asi Taulava of PowerAde and Kelly Williams of Talk ’N Text to join the national team for the Asiad in Guangzhou, China.
However, James Yap, the reigning PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) of B-Meg Derby Ace and the third player requested by the SBP, has begged off due to personal reasons. The 6-foot-3 Yap is also recovering from a polyp operation.
The PBA though gave Smart-Gilas a freehand to tab a third player, who should first accept the invitation and then get the approval from his mother team.
Smart-Gilas sources mentioned as possible replacement for Yap include Rain or Shine guard Sol Mercado, as well as former national team players Dondon Hontiveros of San Miguel Beer and Renren Ritualo of PowerAde.
But according to Toroman, it’s too early to tell who they get, adding that it’s possible actually not get take a third player.
“We’ll know if Marcio is OK in the few days, then we will decide. It all depends on Marcio, we have to solve that first. It depends on our decision, on Marcio’s availability if we’ll get a third PBA player,” said Toroman.
“Marcio needs two weeks treatment, but this kind of treatment he can do in Manila. That’s the problem, he must return here.”