UAAP: 'A joy' to coach Adamson's Lastimosa, says Racela

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2022 02:25 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2022 07:31 AM

Adamson's Jerom Lastimosa. UAAP Media.
Adamson's Jerom Lastimosa. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- Jerom Lastimosa will be a marked man when Adamson University opens its campaign in UAAP Season 85 this Saturday.

The veteran point guard is coming off a superb campaign in Season 84 where he averaged 14.71 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game while nearly leading the Falcons to the Final 4. Lastimosa also showed a penchant for crunch-time heroics, showing no fear of taking over in big moments.

For Adamson coach Nash Racela, there's no doubt that Lastimosa will be the focal point for their team in Season 85.

"As a coach, I'm just very fortunate to have a player like Jerom. He's very talented," said Racela on the "Call to Arms" podcast with Nikko Ramos. 

"It's really a joy coaching him," he added. "Parang pinapadali rin niya 'yung trabaho naming coaches."

Lastimosa continued to be Adamson's premier performer in the preseason. In the FilOil tournament, he averaged 13.4 points and 2.63 assists in eight games. During their stint in the Kadayawan Cup in Davao City, it was Lastimosa who nailed the game-winning three-pointer in the final against the host team.

Expectations are undoubtedly high for the point guard heading into Season 85, but Racela said Lastimosa should show improvement not just on the court, but also off it.

"I know that he has a few more things that he needs to work on, and more specifically, it's his leadership ang gusto naming ipakita niya, especially leading a young team like Adamson," the coach said. 

"We give him a lot of freedom, but we always say that with a lot of freedom comes a lot of responsibilities," Racela added. "That's something that we also try to emphasize with not just Jerom but with a lot of our leaders din."

While Lastimosa is the focal point, Racela also hopes to get strong seasons from their supporting cast anchored by guard Joel Sabandal and young big man Cedrick Manzano. 

Sabandal averaged 10 points and 2.6 assists in the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup, stepping up when Lastimosa was on the bench. Manzano also had a strong preseason, with averages of 12.44 points and nearly 7 rebounds per game in the FilOil competition.

"Every time si Jerom is out, how do you put in stability? Doon kami nagi-struggle. Slowly, other guys are learning that," said Racela after a game against Lyceum of the Philippines University in FilOil.

Catch replays of UAAP Season 84 games via the UAAP Varsity channel on iWantTFC, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.

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