Psychological scars gone as Pam Lastimosa makes comeback from ACL injury
Pam Lastimosa had a solid game in her return from an ACL injury, scoring seven points for the UST Tigresses. Dante Peralta

RETURNING University of Santo Tomas skipper Pam Lastimosa does not put too much pressure on herself after almost a year out due to an ACL injury.

The incoming fifth year spiker scored seven points, all from kills, in her comeback game to help University of Santo Tomas post an easy 25-16, 25-10, 25-23 win over Philippine Coast Guard in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference on Monday at the PhilSports Arena.

Lastimosa shared that her mindset was to simply enjoy the game.

“Actually before the game nagjo-joke kami ng teammates ko na, ‘Uy, first playing year ko sa V-League’ kasi first game ko nga after ilang months, no pressure lang, laro lang talaga,” she said.

“Syempre excited akong maglaro, it feels so great na panalo kami,” she said. “Hindi ko na iniisip ang injury ko, siguro iniisip ko ang game lang and nag-focus ako sa game.”

[See UST Tigresses dispose of Coast Guard for second successive V-League win]

The Tigresses leader, however, estimated she’s still 50 percent from top form.

“Mga 50-60 percent pa lang, kulang pa sa kundisyon. Physically napapansin ko naman na medyo mabigat pa pero psychologically wala na sa akin, hindi ko na iniisip (yung injury),” said Lastimosa.

“Mga first few weeks after ko makabalik from injury syempre naninibago pa sa skills and all. Actually hindi pa ako talaga sumasabak sa court like nagta-transition, basic lang ginagawa ko spike, receive hindi pa ako tumatalon siguro mga after a month doon na ako sumali sa drills,” she said.

Although she’s not yet at her best, Lastimosa felt that her presence provided a leader that the team needed inside the court.

“Siguro ‘yung role ko sa team is ako ‘yung nakikipag-usap sa kanila sa court and ako ‘yung nagco-communicate, ako ang nauuna makipag-communicate and motivation sa kanila,” she said.

Meanwhile, UST coach Kungfu Reyes hopes that as Lastimosa can catch up with her teammates as the conference goes on.  

“Although 60-70 percent na siya, hindi pa rin ganoon kabigat ang nakakalaban namin,” said Reyes. “Hopefully, makasabay si Pam.”

“At least naramdaman nya na ulit na nasa real game na sya. Unti-unti, makakaya naman nya ulit. Hopefully, bago matapos first round, mas maging okay kami,” he added.

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