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MANILA, Philippines — It may not have been the way Jerom Lastimosa wanted to end his UAAP career, but the last moments of his collegiate sendoff will forever be ingrained in his memory.
Lastimosa, whose season was cut short by an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear on his left knee, managed to score one more time when the Ateneo Blue Eagles gave him an opportunity just before the final buzzer.
Ateneo rookie Kyle Gamber acceded to Lastimosa’s final request by giving him the ball before the latter swished the triple as time expired.
“I will never forget that moment since that was my last shot in the UAAP,” the graduating guard said after his Soaring Falcons lost and ended their season in the knockout playoff game against the Blue Eagles, 70-48, on Wednesday, November 22.
“It shouldn’t have been that way since the ball came from Ateneo.”
Lastimosa played a shade over 2 minutes, ending up with 3 points on 1-of-4 shooting from downtown.
On the other side, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin praised his wards for the gesture to a player he called a “wonderful servant” of the UAAP and Philippine basketball.
“When you have a 20-point lead, who cares about 3 points, if we can make a gesture to a guy that, you know, maybe saying is iconic is a bit much but you know, currently, he’s iconic of outstanding players that the UAAP has generated,” Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin said after eliminating Adamson.
“And when you have an opportunity to make such a [gesture]… it cost us nothing. But it gave Jerom a moment that he might not otherwise have had in front of his fans,” he continued.
“And, you know… [it’s a] a salute as he rides off into the sunset, cost us nothing, more than happy to do that. And I was proud of my players to, you know, assist in that that moment.”
UAAP | WATCH:— Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) November 22, 2023
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin praises his players for letting Adamson guard Jerom Lastimosa end his collegiate career on a high note.
Lastimosa beat the final buzzer on an open triple attempt. #UAAPSeason86 pic.twitter.com/yxKHk7D7Xv
It was similar to UP’s Zavier Lucero, who nailed a technical free throw in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball finals with 0.7 seconds left, which Ateneo won, 75-68.
Lucero tore his ACL in Game 2 of the championship series, which he continues to recover from.
“I think that that actually shows respect for the game. Because these are people.” — Rappler.com