Adamson University head coach Nash Racela believes that Soaring Falcons star Jerom Lastimosa deserves to don the Gilas Pilipinas jersey.
"Actually, that’s my question. Why is Jerom Lastimosa not part of the Gilas pool?," the veteran coach said in a post-match press conference after the Soaring Falcons’ UAAP Season 85 stint ended in the hands of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 80-61, on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
"I always read he’s the best point guard in college basketball. If he’s really the best, why is he not part of Gilas? Just a question. I always think about that."
The Dumaguete native said he would not waste the opportunity if given the chance to represent the country.
Lastimosa, who has yet to disclose his plans for his final year in the collegiate ranks, also said that he will make himself available if the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) invites him to the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in February.
"Kapag kinuha naman nila ako, syempre i-grab ko yung opportunity na ‘yun and hindi ko hahayaan na mawala ‘yun. Syempre, para ‘yun sa bayan natin," Lastimosa said.
The Tab Baldwin-led Blue Eagles may have successfully limited the do-it-all point guard to 10 points, but Lastimosa has captured the hearts of the fans since he returned from a right foot injury to ignite Adamson’s campaign.
Lastimosa endured the pain and posted the norms of 17.33 points, 2.33 rebounds, 3 assists in the last three games to bring the San Marcelino squad back in the Final Four since UAAP Season 81.
After the Adamson University alma mater hymn was played, the crowd chanted "MVP" as Lastimosa became emotional while thanking the Adamson community that supported him and the Soaring Falcons this season.