UAAP Basketball

Nash Racela says Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa could be the next great PBA player

JR Isaga
Nash Racela says Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa could be the next great PBA player

TIME TO SHINE. After serving as a backup in his first two UAAP seasons, Adamson's Jerom Lastimosa now takes center stage as the Falcons' new leader

ANTA Philippines

New Adamson head coach Nash Racela sees Falcons' leader Jerom Lastimosa possibly carving a clear path to the PBA like his former FEU wards Terrence Romeo, Roger Pogoy, and RR Garcia

MANILA, Philippines – Throughout his time as a head coach in the UAAP, Nash Racela has been known to hone some of the country’s best young talent, particularly from the guard position.

Terrence Romeo, Rogoy Pogoy, Mike Tolomia, and RR Garcia are just some of the big names who were under Racela’s successful tenure with the FEU Tamaraws. Even in the PBA, he coached some of his former wards, and also one of the greatest of all time, Jayson Castro.

Now back in the collegiate head coaching scene with the Adamson Soaring Falcons after a six-year hiatus, Racela already has an eye out for possibly the country’s next great guard, Jerom Lastimosa.

Even after just a few months of being with the program, the one-time UAAP champion tactician already has a glowing report for the team’s new leader heading to Season 84.

“Right now, he is a very good player. He could be potentially great, if he plays his cards right,” said Racela during ANTA Philippines’ recent gear turnover event.

“He could even be a great player in the PBA. He just has to develop his leadership qualities.”

Even before the pandemic, Lastimosa’s game was already on an upswing while under the tutelage of the great Franz Pumaren.

Long tagged as a backup guard behind then-team veteran Jerie Pingoy, Lastimosa thrived under the brightest of spotlights in the Season 81 Final Four, when he nearly lifted the Falcons to the UAAP finals in front of sold-out crowds at the Mall of Asia Arena and Araneta Coliseum.

Although Adamson fell twice to the UP Fighting Maroons, Lastimosa’s clutch plays had fans buzzing about his potential for Season 82. However, he graciously stepped back again for one-and-done recruit Val Chauca before the pandemic wrecked all hopes of a Season 83 breakout.

Despite the high praise for the 24-year-old Lastimosa, Racela is managing his expectations for him and the rest of a rebuilding Falcons squad already missing key cogs AP Manlapaz and Aaron Fermin due to untimely injuries.

“I can’t say where we will land in the standings, but the goal is to be the best we could possibly be, compete at a high level, and we’ll see where it will bring us,” he said.

Joining the Falcons in their journey is ANTA Philippines, which has taken over as the team’s official outfitter, and recently gifted the entire team their own pairs of Klay Thompson signature sneakers. – Rappler.com