CARLO Lastimosa appeared to have made Phoenix coach Koy Banal regret his decision to let the promising guard go at the start of this PBA season after putting up another prolific performance for Blackwater against his former team on Wednesday.
The Elite playmaker played his first two years in the league for Banal with the Barako Bull franchise before getting traded to Blackwater last July for Brian Heruela, who was eventually sent to San Miguel Beer for Jeric Fortuna.
Now, the former St. Benilde standout has been having a breakout season for the Elite, with the latest evidence a 28-point, seven-rebound showing against his former team.
“Pwede ba bawiin 'yung trade?" Banal asked in jest as he entered the press room for the post-match press conference, even if his team had the last laugh after coming away with a 124-120 overtime win.
For a while, though, Lastimosa and the Elite gave the Fuel Masters a scare as they overhauled a double-digit deficit and forced an extra session.
Lastimosa even had the chance to steal the game in regulation, but he failed to complete a rare four-point play that would’ve given them the lead with 1.1 seconds left.
“I did not sound like I was positive during the game, but my team stayed positive all throughout the game,” Banal said. “They understood what I was trying to point out to them.”
“I was not in my usual self,” he added. “But I was grateful for their positivity.”