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College kid Jerom Lastimosa proves deserving of Gilas spot


PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA —  In his first Southeast Asian Games campaign, Jerom Lastimosa wasn’t just  among the three collegiate players to crack the Gilas Pilipinas line up.

He was also the most utilized among the players outside of the Philippine Basketball Association.

The spitfire guard from Adamson was able to make key contributions for the Gilas team and brought in his youthful  energy to the veteran-laden squad that went on to reclaim the glory by winning the gold medal against an emerging powerhouse in the region – Cambodia — here at the Elephant Hall 2 of the Morodok Techo National Stadium.

The Philippines defeated the host team, 80-69.

Lastimosa was like a spark plug coming off the bench, that each time he was sent in to the game, good things happened to our national quintet in keeping the balance of speed and energy.

He could only relish the great opportunity of being a part of this redeeming team, which only last year watched the Philippines’ near three-decade dominance of the Games coming to an end.

But it took only a year for Gilas to win back the gold medal in the sport that mattered the most for every Filipino.

“It feels so great to be a part of a champion team,” Lastimosa told Daily Tribune in an exclusive interview. “This might be the biggest championship game I will ever play and I will never forget this moment. I will be forever grateful for being a part of the Gilas team.”

But what made it sweeter was the fact that Gilas coaching staff made him feel to become a special part of this unit even though he is one among the newcomers in the roster.

“I have to give credit to all my teammates, especially the coaches. They’ve really shown their trust in me,” added Lastimosa. “They gave me an opportunity to play in the SEA Games. They really utilized me and it’s really a huge impact for my career. I really learned a lot from them.”

This is just the beginning for Lastimosa, who quickly made a good first impression.


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