Carlo Lastimosa was a man on a mission heading to the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season playoffs.
After all, Lastimosa — who has been in the pro ranks since 2013 — wants to prove something and fulfill his potential.
Manila-Frontrow head coach Tino Pinat himself was the witness of Lastimosa’s extra work during practices.
And so he knew that once the curtains of the post-season wars raised, Lastimosa would be a tough puzzle to solve for the opposing team. And it showed in the Game One of their best-of-three quarterfinals match-up against Bulacan.
The 29-year-old guard out of St. Benilde dropped 23 points on an efficient 10-of-14 shooting clip, leading the Stars to a tight 91-88 over the Kuyas.
“Expected namin kay Carlo [Lastimosa] ‘yan kasi mataas ‘yung kumpiyansa niya coming to this game,” Pinat shared.
“Nilabas niya ngayon ung pinaghandaan niya talaga nung mga nakaraang practices.”
Asked regarding his motivations, Lastimosa revealed that he attributes his efficient offensive outing to one thing: his goal of bagging the crown for Manila — the team that has given him a new lease on his basketball career.
Lastimosa had blossomed into the professional scene after his stints with Barako Bull, Blackwater, and NLEX. But he was curiously released by Columbian, which led to him signing with the Frontrow-backed squad last March 2019.
“I just want to win the championship, ‘yun lang.
“Nine games pa para manalo so one down, so a lot to go,” said Lastimosa.
But the former NCAA Rookie of the Year knows that closing out a desperate Pasig side will be a tough task, especially given their turnovers in this game. With this, he hopes that the Stars can learn from this outing and use it as a lesson for Game Two.
“Ang dami naming lapses pa rin sa turnovers namin, so I think magfi-film viewing kami, then titignamin ‘yung mga mali. So from there sana mag-improve kami next game,” Lastimosa said.
In the other quarterfinals match-up, Makati-Super Crunch leaned on Jong Baloria, Joseph Sedurifa, and Josh Torralba in a 94-88 Game One win.
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photo by Thel Suliva