Adamson coach underscores Lastimosa loyalty
MANILA, Philippines -- Adamson head coach Nash Racela is hoping that other UAAP players would be inspired by outgoing Falcons star Jerom Lastimosa, who stayed with the team despite various offers to play elsewhere.
Following a stellar UAAP Season 85 wherein he willed the Falcons to the Final Four, Lastimosa remained with in the school for another year despite reportedly receiving offers to turn professional.
In the offseason, however, the point guard sustained a partial ACL tear.
On October 25, Lastimosa played in his first game for UAAP Season 86, but his season debut was cut short after bumping knees with UP’s Gerry Abadiano.
He was then diagnosed with a full ACL tear.
On Wednesday, in what turned out to be his final collegiate game, Lastimosa entered the court and played in the Falcons’ 70-48 defeat against Ateneo.
In two minutes of action, Lastimosa sank a 3-pointer at the end of the fourth quarter, as the game -- and his collegiate career -- ended at the buzzer.
Racela said he is hoping that people could see how much Lastimosa valued the university.
“People talk about Jerom having offers but he chose to stay with Adamson this year despite his injury. He still chose to play for Adamson,” the head coach told reporters after the game.
“Other people they don't see that as something admirable, but it is something that we really appreciate. Not just us, but the whole Adamson community,” he added.
Adamson, before the season, retired Lastimosa’s No. 7 jersey.
This came following Season 85, where Lastimosa was named to the Mythical Five. He also represented Gilas Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games earlier in the year.
After sustaining the full ACL tear, Lastimosa said he would not be going under the knife until the last game of Adamson since he wanted to stand and sing the school anthem with the team for the last time.
“I'm sure the whole UAAP appreciates what [Lastimosa] did. Hopefully, moving forward, the other student-athletes could see it and do the same because they represent the UAAP,” Racela said.
“Now that he has ended his career in the UAAP, I can say that he was able to represent the UAAP well, and he was able to represent Adamson very, very well.”