Ahead of his first-ever Final Four appearance in the UAAP, Jerom Lastimosa is a little jittery even if he won’t admit it.
The Dumaguete native, however, vowed not to let nerves get to him as Adamson shoots for history and aims to win a first UAAP men’s basketball since 1977.
“Di naman sa kinakabahan, pero ibibigay ko lang yung best ko,” he told Akari Sports as the Soaring Falcons wrapped up their elimination round campaign with a 10-4 record.
“Blessed na blessed ako kasi first year ko tapos nakatikim agad ako ng Final Four,” he added. “Wala pa akong experience sa Final Four pero pagbubutihan ko pa rin.”
After rookie Jed Colonia was bumped from the main rotation midway through the tournament, it has been Lastimosa and veteran Jerie Pingoy who have manned the point for coach Franz Pumaren to mixed results.
The former Asian Colleges standout has normed 7.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 19.5 minutes in his first UAAP season in Manila.
Now pitted against UP’s star-studded backcourt led by Juan Gomez de Liano and Jun Manzo, Lastimosa promises to step up for Adamson, owners of the longest title drought in the UAAP at 41 years.
“Siguro di ako mag-kumpyansa kasi mas beterano sila sa akin,” he said. “Dedepensahan ko na lang sila at gagawin ang pinapagawa ng coaches ko.”
The Falcons and the Fighting Maroons tangle on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.