MANILA, Philippines – Jojo Lastimosa hopes to excel in his two roles for TNT as he got appointed as Tropang Giga head coach while concurrently serving as team manager.
Serving as a stand-in for Chot Reyes, Lastimosa guided TNT to a victorious PBA Governors’ Cup debut following a 123-119 win over Phoenix on Wednesday, January 25.
“I want to be good at both. I think it can be done,” said the PBA legend, who won 10 championships as a player and three titles as an assistant coach at Alaska.
Lastimosa admitted it was particularly difficult in the past couple of months as he oversaw the signing of fresh player deals.
He was also responsible for bringing in import Jalen Hudson, who finished with a near triple-double of 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists in his debut for the Tropang Giga.
With Hudson already on board, Lastimosa still needs to find a second reinforcement for the East Asia Super League Champions Week to be held in Japan in March.
“It was tough, but now, it is a little bit easier. But I still sign papers these days,” said Lastimosa. “Sometimes, I need to delegate a little bit more, but I want to be hands-on on both.”
While the juggling act may be challenging, the 58-year-old mentor is pleased with the plethora of talent he has at his disposal.
“I’m fortunate because I already have a team that is built to win. It is just a matter of utilizing my coaches about how we want to attack this game collectively and how to make the players listen to our voices,” Lastimosa said.
Lastimosa, though, made it clear he is just filling the void left by Reyes, who will focus on his job as Gilas Pilipinas head coach with the FIBA World Cup drawing near.
He also took over the coaching reins at his former team NLEX whenever former Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao missed games.
“I’m still pitching in. Just like when I was with NLEX, I was pitching in. But this one is a bit longer.” – Rappler.com