UAAP: Jerom Lastimosa takes over ‘the right way’ for Adamson
MANILA, Philippines — With their season on the line, Adamson coach Nash Racela told Jerom Lastimosa to take over in the payoff period.
The veteran guard did just that–leading the Soaring Falcons back to the Final Four for the first time since 2018 and eliminating the depleted La Salle, 80-76, in the playoff for No.4 of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
But it wasn’t just his scoring that impressed Racela the most.
“Sabi ko nga kay Jerom, takeover na, ikaw na, sabi ko laruin mo na. But nilaro niya ng tama that’s actually the reason why I’m so happy kasi nilaro niya nang tama,” said Racela.
(I told Jerom to take over, you lead the way. But he played it right that’s actually the reason why I’m so happy because he did the right thing.)
“He gave up the ball. Other guys really stepped up. That’s basketball. It’s not just about one player, others need to step up. That was our main problem, at the start of the season… At least now, others contributed. That will help us moving forward,” he added.
Lastimosa took over in the third quarter with 11 straight points in the third to keep Adamson afloat and shared the ball in the fourth with Lenda Douanga, Joshua Yerro, Cedrick Manzano, and Joem Sabandal making the crucial baskets to forge a Final Four duel with the twice-to-beat Ateneo.
“Coach told me in the fourth to trust my teammates. So by the last five minutes, I was just tasked to do spot-up shots and pass it to my teammates because I trust everyone from our team,” said Lastimosa, who scored 22 points and six assists.
During the third quarter where he gave the Falcons’ first lead, Lastimosa was deter ined to show his teammates that the game is not over after trailing to La Salle by 10, 48-38, at the half.
“I told my teammates that the match is not yet over even La Salle was up by 10. We didn’t give up. I really felt that the Final Four is ours. I didn’t give up,” said Lastimosa.
As Adamson enters the Final Four on Wednesday against the top seed Ateneo, Racela is happy that the Falcons have proved that they are not just about Lastimosa when they try to extend the series against a team they haven’t beaten this season.
“Adamson is Jerom. But that’s something that we want to somehow change. Because basketball is not just an individual game. It’s a team game so we want to put emphasis not just on Jerom but on the whole team. Now we won’t be in this situation if not for the other guys, that’s reality,” the Adamson coach said.
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