CARLO Lastimosa was once one of the most coveted young guns in the PBA, especially after bursting into the pro scene with Barako Bull, Blackwater and NLEX following a solid career with College of St. Benilde.
That’s why it came as a surprise to everyone when he was unceremoniously released by Columbian, a team that was badly in need of a scorer, before the end of last season.
After months in limbo, the 29-year-old combo-guard found a new home after signing with the Manila Stars in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Manila team owner Roman Ang confirmed Lastimosa’s signing to SPIN on Wednesday, saying the former PBA player has joined the club in its practices but won't suit up until next season.
“Other teams are already starting to rebuild their roster. As of the moment we are focused on the playoffs, but we also have a designated team who’s scouting for players that can help our team to be more competitive next season,” said Ang.
Lastimosa will be forming a veteran one-two combination with versatile big man Ronnie Matias, who won a championship in the PBA with Rain or Shine.
The pair will be reinforcing Manila’s young core led by Chris Bitoon and Aris Dionisio, who are making a name for themselves in the on-going MPBL season.
“We are excited with Carlo suiting up for out team next season, especially with another veteran Ronnie Matias, our management is expecting both players to contribute and blend in with our current roster as they are already joining the practice to help our team now in the playoffs,” Ang added.