Lebanon head coach Slobodan Subotić clarified that he and Marcio Lassiter have already patched things up after their a mini spat during the tune-up with Gilas Pilipinas, Friday night at Epsilon Chi Center in UP-Diliman.
Things got heated between the Subotić and the San Miguel Beermen sniper with 7:34 to go in the third quarter, when Ali Mezher went down lying on the floor and clutching onto his chest after an apparent elbow by Lassiter.
“No. Nothing. I told that he hit my player because I saw my player down,” said the Slovenian bench strategist.
“But it wasn’t him, so I apologized.”
But that apparently lit the fire within the Filipino dribblers, as they managed to take down the 18-point wall Lebanon built and trimmed it to just two, 66-68, after a Japeth Aguilar tip-in off a Jayson Castro miss with 2:57 left to play.
Luckily for the Lebanese side, however, forward Ali Haidar and lanky yet towering center Ater Majok joined hands by fronting a mini 6-0 scoring blitz inside the final 2:33 to pave the way for the visitors’ 74-68 victory.
“At the end we showed character, that’s why we won,” said Subotić.
Still, Subotić tipped his hat to Gilas for the way they played – the two teams will play again on Sunday, November 25. “They’re good, they’re talented, they play tough – which I like – like the most teams in the region,” he said.
“This was a very good test for us.”