CARLO Lastimosa hopes Blackwater has made a statement to the rest of the PBA that it’s not a pushover after stunning Meralco, 92-90, in the Philippine Cup on Wednesday.
The junior guard rose to the occasion for the Elite, scoring the game-winning floater with one second left to reward his team its first win this season - and the second-year franchise's first in an all-Filipino tournament.
“Gusto ko ipakita na yung team naming kayang lumaban, kayang mag-compete sa ibang teams,” Lastimosa said. “It’s a good start na nanalo na kami.”
And he was the biggest difference, taking matters into his own hands in the Elite’s final offensive possession off a timeout.
“Nakita ko na six seconds, ang hirap na pag ipasa ko pa, so sakto nakita ko na pwede kong i-drive, so tinira ko na lang,” Lastimosa said. “Buti na lang na-shoot. Tsamba lang.”
“Sobrang saya,” he added. “Nakita ko naman na yung team ko, sinusuportahan ako and nagtutulungan kami sa team. Yun yung maganda sa team namin kasi we don’t care kung sino yung may credit, basta importante manalo.”
The 6-foot wingman finished with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, three boards, one assist, and one steal in just 16 minutes.
Lastimosa, acquired in an offseason trade with Barako Bull, insisted he has yet to fully adjust to the coach Leo Isaac’s system.
“Past two games, medyo nag-a-adjust pa talaga,” said the Cagayan de Oro native, nephew of cage great Jojo Lastimosa. “Hindi ko pa nakukuha talaga eh, game by game. Masaya naman ako na nabibigyan ako ng chance.”
The 25-year-old guard is sure up in Isaac’s trust ratings.
“Knowing Carlo, he’s been doing that since his college days,” Isaac said of the former College of St. Benilde star. “When he took that shot, tingin ko shoot eh. Good thing he had that presence of mind to take charge.”