ACCORDING to Petron Blaze coach Gee Abanilla, Marcio Lassiter has yet to realize his full potential.

That could only spell bad news for the opposition as Lassiter is already turning out to be one major player for the Boosters, propping their charge to three straight wins and earning for himself the Accel-PBA Player of the Week honors for the period Sept. 9 to 15.

In said span, Lassiter was the most consistent local for Petron in the victories over Talk N Text, Alaska and GlobalPort with an average of 18.3 points on 25-for-40 field shooting, including an astounding 8-for-15 from beyond the arc.

As is his wont the San Francisco-born guard would rather deflect the credit. “This is more of a team effort. It’s never about one person,” said the 26-year-old.

“Thankfully, my teammates found me and they gave me the confidence to make my shots. My teammates made this possible.”

Abanilla said the 6-3 former national team standout is just living up to the promise management saw in him when he was acquired from Powerade in April of 2012.

“He’s such a good player,” said Abanilla. “He started slowly, pero I think he’s getting his bearings now.”

The victories stretched Petron’s winning streak to eight, not only assured its emergence as the top team in the nine-game eliminations and top ranking with a twice-to-beat advantage in the ensuing quarterfinals.

Abanilla said he expects more from Lassiter.

“In the coming games mas maganda pa ilalaro niya. He’s a very smart player,” stated Abanilla. “His real talent is, his basketball IQ napakataas. Sa defense nakikita naman ang mga ginagawa niya. Sa offense ang galing niyang bumasa.”

Lassiter is already living up to Abanilla’s words.

He came into the week averaging just 6.0 points in Petron’s last two games but showed he was merely picking his spots. He scored 14 of his 18 points in the two middle quarters in the Boosters’ 122-88 drubbing of TNT.

In the much closer game against Alaska, it was Lassiter who helped make the 103-100 squeaker possible with 10 of his 19 points in the fourth period before again scattering 18 in the 101-90 victory over GlobalPort.

All the while, Lassiter was anchoring the defense on the other teams’ better local offensive player and getting the better of them most of the time.

“But I think he has yet to reach his full potential,” insists Abanilla. (NC)

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