Nash Racela bats for Jerom Lastimosa’s Gilas pool inclusion
MANILA, Philippines — Adamson coach Nash Racela believes Jerom Lastimosa deserves a Gilas Pilipinas call-up.
With Lastimosa being tagged as arguably the current best point guard in college basketball, Racela is wondering why his star player is not getting an invitation to train and play for the national team.
“Why Jerom Lastimosa is not part of the Gilas pool? I’ve been itching to tweet about that. Nobody talks about that when it comes to Gilas,” said Racela after Adamson ended its UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament with an 81-60 loss to top seed Ateneo in the Final Four on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I’ve always read that he’s the best point guard in college basketball. If he really is the best one, why is he not part of the pool of Gilas?” he added.
The Adamson coach said the question is borne out of his belief that the flamboyant guard deserves a chance to be with Gilas.
“That’s just a question. I always think about that. I am proud of him and his achievements. I also feel that he also deserves a spot and take a look at him. They’ll be surprised, actually, if they will invite him,” the former Gilas assistant coach said.
Lastimosa said he’s always open to playing for the national team but he leaves that decision to the national federation and the coaches.
“If there’s an invite, it will be an honor. But if there’s none, it’s okay for me because they are the ones who decide what’s best for the team,” said the fourth-year Falcon in Filipino.
“If I get a call-up, of course, I will grab that opportunity. I won’t miss it because it’s a chance to serve our country,” he added.
Lastimosa, who hasn’t made up his mind whether he will play one more season for the Falcons, got some words of encouragement from Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin, who used to call the shots for Gilas.
“Coach Tab hugged me and told me that I really did well. I did a good job and take care of my body. And the last thing he said, he loves me,” Lastimosa said.
Racela quipped: “I love you more.”
Lastimosa will finally have a chance to rest his right foot injury while thinking of the next step in his career.