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‘Injured’ Jerom back in action


Adamson University head coach Nash Racela proved this statement by fielding his prized guard albeit for just half a minute in the Falcons’ 74-64 win over University of the East in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

“Jerom Lastimosa is not out for the season. That’s the only thing I will say,” Racela said, denying earlier reports that Lastimosa will miss the rest of the tournament due to a dislocated right foot.

The fourth-year shooting guard in an interview last Thursday told reporters that he won’t make it back as he will need at least two weeks to heal and more time to fully recover which could deal a major blow to the Falcons’ Final Four bid.

He hurt his foot last 2 November in a blowout loss to Final Four-bound defending champion University of the Philippines.

The 24-year-old veteran, however, returned to action with 30.4 seconds in the second quarter against the Red Warriors.

Lastimosa sat out the third quarter before subbing in once again with 18.5 seconds left in the game with the game already decided. He was sent on the line and drilled both his charities before walking back to the bench.

Overall, he played for 32 seconds and scored two.

“I’m fully blessed because coach (Nash) allowed me to play despite that I’m not yet 100 percent recovered. I’m just happy for coach Nash’s trust in me, that he allowed me to play even for just 30 seconds,” Lastimosa said in his comeback game after missing Adamson’s previous two outings.

Racela said that Lastimosa is getting better by the day.

“He’s getting better. I think if there’s something that you should write, it’s that Jerom is getting better,” the mentor sarcastically said.

“Actually, regardless of the time he was in, I think it’s a statement that he’s available for this season. I read somewhere that he won’t be available. I was surprised that you know about that more than me,” Racela told reporters inside the press room.

“I think that’s the message, regardless if it’s 30 or 10 seconds, but we all look forward to him playing longer.”

With a 5-6 win-loss record at fourth spot tied with De La Salle University, Adamson remains in the thick of the battle for the last two Final Four berths.

UP and National University occupied the first two semis seats while Ateneo de Manila University is just a win away from claiming the third.

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