SEA Games: No friendly fire as Gilas meets Rajko’s new crew

Paul Lintag on Dec 09, 2019 05:16 PM
SEA Games: No friendly fire as Gilas meets Rajko’s new crew
We’re definitely not gonna play any frienship or anything like that. We’re definitely gonna play as hard to get to the final round.” — Marcio Lassiter as he once again meets his old coach. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

MANILA — Gilas Pilipinas has grown into a successful basketball program since its inception a decade ago.

The first coach for Gilas then was a Serbian named Rajko Toroman.

Coach Rajko helped put the Gilas program in place, taking on young guys like Greg Slaughter, shaping them to be key national team players in the future.

Slaughter is one of two original Gilas players playing in the current national team for the SEA Games.

“I was really lucky that at an early age coach Rajko he’s just really experienced on all levels of basketball,” Greg said.

“He brings really a quite serious approach to the game and I learned so much under him and being that young and under him really helped me get to where I am today,” he added.

Fast forward to 2019 and coach Rajko will be on the same court as Gilas still, only this time as opponents.

The Philippines takes on Toroman’s Indonesia in the semifinals of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games here and once it’s go time Monday at the MOA Arena, there will be no goodness directed towards coach Rajko and his current crew.

“I played a lot with him. We learned a lot and he helped me develop as a player,” guard Marcio Lassiter said, the other one of two original Gilas members playing in the current national team.

“At the same time, we know what’s at stake. We’re definitely not gonna play any frienship or anything like that. We’re definitely gonna play as hard to get to the final round,” Marcio added as he once again meets his old coach.


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