While Jerom Lastimosa did not have the last dance he would have wanted to end his career at Adamson University, he was at least able to have one last memorable moment and it was all thanks to an assist from the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
With 1.3 seconds left on the clock, Lastimosa scored his last-ever bucket — a three-pointer — in the UAAP after Blue Eagles rookie Kyle Gamber passed him the ball.
It may have just been a little footnote in the game as the Blue Eagles were already up 70-45 but some things cannot be quantified and it is a moment that gave Lastimosa the farewell a student-athlete of his caliber deserved from the UAAP.
“I think Jerom has been a wonderful servant of UAAP basketball and Philippine basketball in general. When you have a 20-point lead, who cares about three points? If we can make a gesture to a guy that maybe saying iconic is a bit much but currently, he’s iconic,” said coach Tab Baldwin.
“He’s one of the outstanding players that the UAAP has generated. If you can make a gesture, we remember back to last year when Zavier (Lucero) was able to come in with a torn ACL and shoot free throws. I think that actually shows respect for the game.”
For Baldwin, the gesture for Lastimosa was in part an act of service for the league and its players. It is the student-athletes of the UAAP who spend so much time and effort to take fans on an emotional ride.
It was only right then that one of the most prominent student-athletes today, Lastimosa, who has brought honor to Adamson and the Philippines got one last moment to celebrate.
“Our job is to serve the players. Our job is to make the playing experience fruitful, enjoyable, competitive, and fun and when you have an opportunity to (make a gesture like that), it costs us nothing,” he continued.
“It gave Jerom a moment that he otherwise might not have had in front of his fans and for a salute as he rides off to the sunset costs us nothing. We’re more than happy to do that and I was proud of my players to assist in that moment.”
On the flipside, Lastimosa himself was grateful for the gesture. He admitted that he did not expect to receive the ball that late from the Blue Eagles.
The UAAP is a small community in the end and this was a moment that showed that despite the intense competition at times, everyone in the league looks out for each other.
“Yun yung isa sa hindi kong makakalimutan na moments kasi yun na yung pinaka-last shot ko sa UAAP and hindi naman dapat kasi yung bola galing pa sa Ateneo.”