UAAP: Adamson's future is still secure with rising point guard Jerom Lastimosa
Danine Cruz on Nov 28, 2018 10:40 PM
"I think he is gonna be valuable, he will always be in the conversation."
Adamson University's Jerom Lastimosa closed his first playing year in the UAAP with tons of emotion. The Soaring Falcons found themselves getting booted out in the semifinals for the third straight year.
Lastimosa could have been the Falcons' hero after making the game-tying triple with 2.6 left in regulation. It was Lastimosa's shot that forced an extra five minutes to decide who will advance to the Finals to take on defending champions Ateneo.
"Pagkashoot ko ng three points sa gilid po, yung mindset ko is sa amin talaga ibibigay ni Lord," he said.
Come the overtime, Lastimosa gifted Adamson a six-point cushion after sinking another triple with 2:39 left in the additional period. He displayed poise and control during the crucial moments of the match.
But in the end, the Maroons gobbled up the lead as Adamson failed to find a reply.
"Pero hindi pala [ito] sa amin. So sad," he said.
Lastimosa was heartbroken after failing to overcome Adamson's Final Four curse. For three straight years in the Franz Pumaren era, they have always made it to the Final Four only to settle for third place.
Lastimosa was seen bawling beside graduating senior Sean Manganti during the singing of the Adamson University Hymn.
"Yung pinakita lang namin na laban kanina, actually, magandang laban pero talaga eh talo pa rin, nagkulang kami sa -- hindi abot sa five minutes po," said the recruit from Dumaguete while holding back tears.
To focus on the silver lining of the heartbreak, Adamson will still have the services of the 5-foot-10 point guard for at least two more years.
"Pagbutihan ko lang sa loob ng [playing years ko]. Mamatured ko pa rin yung mga laro namin pa. Iaangat ko pa para mas maganda yung laro," he said.
In just his first year as Adamson's point guard, he posted averages of 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
His rise is a manifestation of the program that Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren has always been proud of. From a little known point guard from Asian College in Dumaguete, Lastimosa is now building his name as a reliable point guard in the UAAP.
"Whoever heard of Jerom Lastimosa? I don’t think even a single dot in the radar, he was noticed," said the Adamson mentor.
"I think he’s gonna be valuable, his name is gonna be mentioned and will always be in the conversation. He had some mental mistakes but that’s part of being a -year old kid out of the province. I don’t think he even imagined himself playing in this situation and earning some big minutes," Pumaren added referring to Lastimosa's 20.7 minutes per game.
As manifestation of the trust bestowed upon the young player, he was tasked to make the last shot of the season with 6.6 left but it clanked off to the side of the rim. No worries for the Adamson faithful however, as Lastimosa has still more years to perfect the shot.
For him, he is just very thankful for the UAAP experience he has been having so far. From getting his minutes to playing in front of an Araneta Coliseum brimming with nearly 21,000 fans, Lastimosa's first year in the UAAP has been quite eventful.
"Actually, yung paglipat ko dito is hindi ko talaga ine-expect na maco-contain ko yung laro ko galing sa Dumaguete [papuntang UAAP]," said the Adamsonian.
"Syempre rookie ako, first time ko dito sa UAAP tapos ganun yung crowd kadami saka sobrang blessed ko rin kasi first time ko yun maglaro sa UAAP na sobrang daming tao tsaka nagpapasalamat kami sa crowd namin," Lastimosa said.
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