Kababayan Jerom Lastimosa was Matt Erolon's clincher to choose Adamson

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 18, 2020 05:03 PM
Kababayan Lastimosa was Erolon's clincher to choose Adamson
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)

Adamson High School won its first playoff game in the Mike Fermin era in the recently concluded UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament.

Even better, the Baby Falcons will be back for more next season with a mostly intact core.

Fronting the charge is, of course, rookie MVP Jake Figueroa - and right there with him is Matt Erolon.

As Figueroa takes care of the inside by being a near-automatic double-double machine, Erolon takes care of the outside by being a knockdown shooter.

At the same time Adamson can thank Pampanga for Figueroa, it can thank a certain Soaring Falcon for Erolon.

"Tinanggap ko yung offer ng Adamson dahil kay Jerom Lastimosa," Erolon shared. "Na-inspire po ako sa kanya. Ginusto kong mag-Adamson para sundan ang yapak niya."

As it turns out, the sharpshooting Baby Falcon and the Soaring Falcons' veteran playmaker both hail from Dumaguete and both played for Asian College.

And so, a difficult decision on whether to go from Negros to Manila became a no-brainer for Erolon. "Wala po kasi akong kasama rito. Mag-isa lang ako so naisip ko, at least, nandito rin sa Adamson si Jerom," he said.

Make no mistake, though, the 6-foot guard worked his way to his break in blue and white.

Before he was swishing nets in the UAAP, he first opened eyes in the 2019 National Basketball Training Centre League National Finals where he led St. Louis of Don Bosco to the Division 2 Fantastic Eight.

And in the Three-Point Shootout, he reigned supreme. "'Di ko po talaga akalaing may mga kakausap sa aking school dun. Dream ko rin naman siyempreng makalaro sa UAAP kaya binigay ko lang yung best ko," he shared.

Even come Season 82 itself, the 17-year-old still could not believe how far he had come. "Nung first game, first quarter ko po rito, na-pressure ako. 'Di ako makapaniwalang nandito na po ako," he said.

Slowly but surely, though, he got to showcase the skills that made Adamson recruit him in the first place - and in the end, put up per game counts of 15.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.7 steals all while totalling a league-best 62 triples.

With his first year over and done with, Erolon is only looking forward to taking on Coach Mike's next challenge for him. "Ang binigay ni coach sa akin na role para next year, maging point guard daw po. Kailangan daw po yung para kumpleto ako pagdating sa college," he said.

Fortunately for him, the clincher for him to choose the Baby Falcons just happens to be one of the top young playmakers in all of college. Asked if Lastimosa had already been in touch to mentor him, he answered, "Opo. Nag-uusap na po talaga kami anong dapat gawin para magawa ko yun."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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