Carlo Lastimosa has been wreaking havoc in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season Playoffs, scoring at will and draining bucket after bucket for the Manila-Frontrow Stars.
However, that wasn’t the case for the 29-year-old spitfire guard in the Game Two of their North Division Semifinals match-up against Makati-Super Crunch at the San Andres Sports Complex, Wednesday.
After pouring 25 big points in Game One, Makati put on the clamps on Lastimosa, limiting the six-year pro to just seven points on a disappointing 2-of-15 shooting clip.
With the Super Crunch-backed squad shutting down the lanes that Lastimosa once dominated in Game One, Manila suffered a 16-point, 59-75 loss, enabling Makati to tie the series at 1-1.
Lastimosa later admitted that he had a hard time finding his rhythm due to Makati’s rough defensive game plan against him.
“Naka-deny sila sa akin all the way e. Masikip para sa akin ‘yung mga driving lanes. Naka-adjust sila sa amin,” admitted Lastimosa, who was averaging 23 points per game in the playoffs before Game Two.
“They really denied him the ball and they really played him tough, so Carlo has to force his way kasi they’re playing physical against him,” echoed Manila head coach Tino Pinat.
With the series heading to a winner-take-all bout on Friday, the 6-foot guard vows to solve Makati’s suffocating defensive schemes and lead the Stars to the North Division Finals.
“Hahanap ako ng paraan, [para] next game sure ‘yan. Mag-viewing ako for the next game para alam ko na kung saan ako aatake,” said the product of College of St. Benilde.
“Bibigay ko na ‘yung lahat. Do-or-die game ‘yun so ayun, bubuhos ko na talaga lahat. I’’ll be more aggressive. Ttitignan ko kung saan ako makaka-atake.”
In the other semis bout, San Juan barged its way into the North Division finals after a heated 91-83 triumph over Pampanga-ADG Group.