MANILA, Philippines – Two another reinforcements for Smart Gilas Pilipinas to boost in it’s Olympic Mission, Jamal Sampson (Center) and Fil-Am Marcio Lassiter (Guard) are expecting to be a part of their team.
Jamal Sampson, who replaced fellow American CJ Giles late last year, emerged as a dominating force inside, averaging 16 rebounds, seven points and three shot blocks as Smart Gilas split its first two games with Qatar.
Marcio Lassiter, a versatile guard out of University of California Fullerton, displayed his offensive prowess and aggressive wing defense to complement Sampson’s power game. “Jamal (Sampson) and Marcio (Lassiter) have increased the level of our game especially on defense,” said Noli Eala, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director. “They gave us intensity, aggressiveness and toughness, they’re great additions to Smart Gilas Pilipinas,” he added.
More importantly, Eala said both Sampson, who played for four different NBA teams before coming over here, and Lassiter have been getting along with their Smart Gilas teammates.
Sampson plucked 19 rebounds and made three blocked shots in a 46-38 victory over Qatar in their first meeting.
Sampson was equally imposing in the second match as he powered his way to 12 points, came away with 13 rebounds and three blocks although RP dropped a 69-77 setback in overtime.
While Sampson gets the job done inside, Lassiter does the rest from the wings, even coming up with steals that led to easy fast break plays for Team RP, formed to vie for a berth in the 2012 Olympics.