Nash Racela expects Jerom Lastimosa’s career growth after Gilas stint
Having coached in virtually every level of the sport, Adamson University head coach Nash Racela swears that Jerom Lastimosa’s experience playing for the national team will be transformative.
“I’m sure his experience with Gilas (Pilipinas) will help him a lot,” he told the Inquirer in a lengthy chat on a rainy Friday afternoon.
“In the short-term, you’re going to think about how he is going to be in the UAAP and its next season. And then the maturity he’s gained playing alongside PBA veterans? I’m sure he saw things he doesn’t normally see in the UAAP, which will add to his improvement as a player,” he said.
“Long-term, it will help him to many opportunities in the future—whether in the Philippines or international [leagues]. And that’s really our hope—that [the Gilas stint] opens doors for him.”
Lastimosa was one of three amateurs who helped the Philippines regain its lofty perch in the Southeast Asian Games.
The other two were Michael Phillips, the La Salle ace who was anointed by program fixture Christian Standhardinger as a caretaker of the paint for the national team; and Ateneo-commit Mason Amos.
All three were integral to the Gilas campaign and prove they weren’t just token additions by national team coaches Chot Reyes, Tim Cone, and Jong Uichico.
“Imagine being coached by the likes of coach Chot, coach Tim. As a player, that doesn’t only boost your confidence, it also does something for your game—being coached by such brilliant minds even in just a short amount of time,” said Racela, who also served the national basketball program in the mid-2010s as an assistant, before steering Far Eastern University to a crown and then calling the shots for a club in the pro league.
Lastimosa is included in Adamson’s provisional lineup for the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup, but Racela has deemed it better to have field his younger charges and allow the Dumaguete City native to get some rest.
But while at it, Racela is hoping that the crafty playmaker could blossom into a more expressive leader. Lastimosa, after all, has the makings of a bona fide star.
“I think what separates him is he’s a fighter. I’m very particular with players’ backgrounds. I think that builds them as a person, as an athlete. You talk about (Mac) Belo, (Roger) Pogoy and you see their backgrounds, right? Hindi na-baby. That’s why whenever they’re faced with adversities, they just need a little bit of guidance from their coaches and advisers,” Racela said.
“[Skills]-wise, he’s got them. What I hope he gets to have, especially in his last year, is his leadership. I know he’s a silent leader, but I think it would help him a lot if he’s more vocal,” he added.
Racela said Lastimosa sort of reminds him of Jayson Castro, another crafty guard and a vaunted product of the Gilas program he saw battles with during his time with TNT.
“They’re a bit similar. And of course, they are both from the province. And that’s what I say when I talk about seeing backgrounds. But yes, I think that (leadership) is something that he could develop,” he said.
Outside of the summer showcase, Adamson is mulling to take on tune-up game invites from collegiate teams in Taiwan and pro clubs from South Korea.
The Falcons finished in the Final Four of the previous UAAP season, bowing to eventual champion Ateneo.