Sunday, 18 September 2011

FIBA-Asia: Lutz and Lassiter confident they can join Gilas for 2nd round

Posted by chardyboy on Sunday, September 18, 2011 0 comments

by GMA News

For Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter, hope springs eternal.

While time slowly runs out for Smart Gilas-Pilipinas, the two Fil-Ams are still confident they’ll be able to join the team as the second round of the 26th FIBA-Asia Championship For Men unwraps Monday in Wuhan, China.
“Obviously, it’s really upsetting," said Lutz, 26, and picked third overall by San Miguel in the last PBA Rookie Draft. “We put a lot of work on this team. And the basic reason why we’re brought in is to help the team, help to come here to this exact tournament and help out in any way possible."

Both got the shock of their lives when FIBA-Asia officials declared them ineligible to play an hour before the Nationals’ opening day game against United Arab Emirates.

A technicality in their Filipino citizenship documentation prevented them from suiting up for the team, although Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan already assured Lutz and Lassiter over dinner Saturday that the federation is doing everything it can to get the two of them to play.

The business tycoon said the matter had already been elevated to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which Pangilinan hopes would come out with a decision in time for the team’s game against Jordan Monday.

“I can’t wait to have my chance on the court," added Lassiter, who signed up with Powerade as the Draft’s no. 4 overall selection. “Frustrating? Yes, of course. We worked hard for this, we trained for a year. To have this, something thrown to your face, it hurts."

But like the true warriors that they are, both wingmen expressed readiness to suit up for Smart Gilas once finally given the go-signal to play.

“We’re just patiently waiting and see what happens," said Lassiter, out of Cal State Fullerton. “I have no control over it. I just hope things can get resolved so that we can play."

“It’s not really in our hands," acknowledged Lutz, a product of Marshall University. “We can’t do too much it. We’re hoping before the end of the tournament maybe things will change." - OMG, GMA News


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