Carlo Lastimosa raring to prove worth in PBA after nearly taking act to ABL before KIA call-up
Carlo Lastimosa sat on the KIA bench with the injured Russel Escoto. The former CSB star failed to suit up in his first game for the Picanto as he suffered a sprain in his left ankle during his first practice with the team. Clems dela Cruz

GETTING a new lease on his PBA life, Carlo Lastimosa is also ready to prove everybody wrong.

Lastimosa, 27, expressed gratitude to KIA Picanto for taking a gamble on him and give him a chance to show that he belongs in the league.

“I just want to prove everyone wrong. I just want to prove myself again. Bata pa naman ako kaya ayaw kong sumuko,” he said just before the team’s Philippine Cup game against Rain or Shine Saturday at the Astrodome.

“I want to prove na kaya kong maglaro sa PBA.”

The wingman out of College of St. Benilde was formally signed by the Picanto Friday after finally getting clearance from his former ballclub NLEX, which relegated him to the unrestricted free agent list prior to the start of the season.

The Road Warriors later released him after reportedly buying out the remaining part of his contract, paving the way for his signing with KIA.

Lastimosa said he has nothing against the decision of NLEX to put him in the reserve/free agent list, but was actually surprised by the move.

“Whatever their reason for putting me in the reserve list, I respect their decision. No hard feelings, decision nila yun,” he said.

“Everything happens for a reason. Siguro may ibang plano para sa akin si God.”

Unfortunately, he failed to suit up in his first game for the Picanto as he suffered a sprain in his left ankle during his first practice with the team.

Although in playing condition, he said it was the first time he played in a five-man game since NLEX’s last outing in the season-ending Governors Cup last September.

“First practice jitters, nanibago rin siguro kasi never akong nakapag-practice as a team since NLEX,” said the son of former player Danny Lastimosa.

During the preseason, he admitted he was slowed down by a hamstring injury that kept him from joining the Road Warriors in their scrimmages.

“Therapy lang ako doon, tapos nung gumaling na ako, ayun nga nilagay na nila ako sa reserve (list),” said Lastimosa, a second round pick (20th overall) by Barako Bull in the 2013 draft.

He was supposed to take his act to the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) and play as import for Taiwan until the call from KIA came.

“Dapat aalis na nga ako dapat the next day, tapos ayun, biglang tumawag (yung KIA). So I chose to play in the PBA,” said Lastimosa.

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“Kaya very thankful ako sa management and coaching staff binigyan nila ako ng chance na makalaro dito. Gusto ko lang makatulong sa team.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos