He is a rookie. He is a Dumagueteneo.
Make way for AdU’s new-found hero.
He is from Dumaguete from Calindagan’s native blueprint of greatness, Coach Pumaren believes that the AdU will be Lastimosa’s squad in the near future. As shown by last night’s grind, Jerom Lastimosa has all the makings of a UAAP champion.
Head’s up buddy, the City of Gentle People is all-out cheering for you
Down by 3 points with 2.6 ticks in regulation, Adamson University’s jersey number 7 hit the biggest shot of his young UAAP basketball career – a game-tying heavily contested three-pointer to send the do-or-die playoff game to overtime.
The iconic shot that was heard all over the archipelago was Jerom Lastimosa’s “I Can” statement to the biggest and loudest stage in Philippine collegiate basketball. He was out there fearlessly balling in clutch moments. He was out there introducing himself to this basketball-crazy nation.
The frenzy of the UAAP Men’s Basketball rubber-match to the Finals between the UP Fighting Maroon and the Adamson Soaring Falcons may have subsided now, with the Iskolar ng Bayan pulling a historic upset over the second-seeded gritty Falcons, but it sure has a Cinderella story worth telling.
The Pumaren-mentored boys may have lost the contest, but the silver lining outweighs the setbacks: the birth of a big time playmaker in Jerom Lastimosa. His heroics went down the drain though as UP skipper Paul Desiderio also had his brilliance put on full display.
However, AdU is assured of a bright future with Lastimosa leading the pack next season. To coach Franz Pumaren, the former Asian College floor general has a storied UAAP career ahead of him. He heaped praise to the 5-foot-10 baller who delivered 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block.
His clutch genes was carried over in the extra 5 minutes. Lastimosa nailed a long bomb with 2.39 in OT to carve a 6-point cushion but was quickly erased by the title-hungry Diliman cagers. The former high school standout from the NOHS calmly sank two free throws to tie the game at 87 apiece with 27.1 seconds left. Then UP’s graduating captain weathered the storm and put the game away with a highlight-reel basket of his own.
The Adamson Soaring Falcons fell short this season. But Jerom Lastimosa never ran out of heart. (By German Rhon Dibdib)