Lassiter respects referee's decision to send him off for "Salt Bae" taunt

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By Ivan Saldajeno

LUCENA--Marcio Lassiter caught fire in the third quarter of Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals between San Miguel and Ginebra at the Quezon Convention Center on Sunday night, leading SMB's charge to cut a 24-point halftime deficit down to just two.

However, he seemed he got too fired up.

After his three-pointer that drew the Beermen to within 82-84 with exactly a minute left in the third, Lassiter turned to his defender Sol Mercado and did his own impersonation of Nusret Gokce's wacky salt sprinkling, which became popularly known as the "Salt Bae" sprinkling.

The referees saw Lassiter's action and immediately assessed him with a technical foul for taunting.

Lassiter, who was earlier assessed a flagrant foul penalty 1 in the second quarter, was shown the lockers after incurring the technical owing to league rules that a flagrant foul and a technical foul will stack and that the player who incurred both kinds of foul will be sent off.

Lassiter's absence was eventually felt at the death, when they lost steam and let the Barangay escape with a 124-118 win that chopped their series to a best-of-five.

When some reporters asked for his take about the "Salt Bae moment", Lassiter said, "I can't control that. I've been in a lot of matches before, but I'm not here to criticize the [referees]. It is what it is. That's their call. I respect it."

He also expressed awareness that his departure was very costly for them.

"It just kinda sucks that I wasn't out there on the court. I would have supported my teammates," Lassiter continued.

Still, he is happy that his teammates put up a fight despite falling short.

"It just shows how hungry we are. We never give up," Lassiter concluded.

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