Jojo Lastimosa admitted that he is still settling into his new role as TNT head coach even after a successful start to his stint on Wednesday night.
The cage luminary was appointed as the Tropang Giga’s chief shot-caller following the ball club’s staff shakeup prior to the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup, taking the place of Chot Reyes, who’s now named senior consultant.
“Not yet. I’m still groping,” he said during the postgame presser of their 123-119 win over Phoenix Super LPG to open their campaign in the tourney.
“I need to be better and the players need to be better. Just like me, we want to improve every game,” he continued.
This isn’t the first time that Lastimosa manned the sidelines for a team. It could be remembered that he pinch-hit for Yeng Guiao twice during his time in NLEX, when the champion mentor was still handling Gilas Pilipinas.
He’s basically doing the same now with Reyes managing the national team, although he’ll be filling in for his former coach longer than he did for Guiao as the men’s team is gearing up for the FIBA World Cup in August.
Furthermore, Lastimosa is serving as the Tropa’s team manager, the position he signed up for prior to the season to take the place of Gabby Cui.
It sure is hard to wear multiple hats but the 58-year-old said that it has become much easier, especially over the managerial side of things.
“It’s easier now because all the contracts have been signed. Two months ago was difficult, so I was talking to players, talking to agents, and even bringing Jalen over here. It was tough. But now, it’s a little bit easier,” he said.
“But I still sign papers these days, I’m still looking for an import for the EASL. Sometimes, I need to delegate a little bit more, but I want to be hands-on on both. I want to be good at both. I think it can be done,” he added.
It also helps that he inherited a team that’s already established, and the challenge now lies in making all the pieces listen and work in unison.
“In a way, I’m fortunate because I already have a team that is built to win,” he said. “It is just a matter of utilizing my coaches about how we want to attack this game collectively and how to make the players listen to our voices.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.