Jerom Lastimosa made a lot of heads turn when he trained with Gilas Pilipinas for the first time last Monday at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.
One of those who were impressed with his performance was World Cup veteran CJ Perez.
Perez said Lastimosa’s deadly brew of speed, skills and decision-making was very impressive, making him one of the brightest prospects for the Gilas squad that will be seeing action in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers next month.
Aside from Perez and Lastimosa, also showing up in the national team’s first training of the year were familiar faces like June Mar Fajardo, LeBron Lopez, Schonny Winston and Kevin Quiambao as well as naturalized player Justin Bronwlee.
Prospect Mason Amos was also in attendance despite not yet playing his first game for Ateneo de Manila University in the University Athletic Association.
But the cager who stood out was Lastimosa.
“Jerom Lastimosa has game. He’s got a good potential,” Perez said referring to the high-scoring playmaker who is set to play for Strong Group Realty in the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship starting Friday.
Meanwhile, who failed to show up were Japan-based cagers like ray Parks, Carl Tamayo, Dwight Ramos and Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena as well as Philippine Basketball Association stars Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo, Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan.
Kai Sotto was also not around as he is still with his professional team, Adelaide 36ers, in Australia while naturalized player Ange Kouame is sidelined by dengue.
“We’re not yet complete, probably we had around 12 from the 24 in the pool,” Perez said.
“We just had a light practice.”