Since Carlo Lastimosa’s entry to the PBA as the 20th overall pick in 2013, the swingman always had to prove he’d belong in the league.
His name may not ring as loud as the highly-touted prospects, but ever the willing scorer back in college, Lastimosa has brought his aggressive mentality to the big league as he found a way to thrive.
Lastimosa spent two seasons with the Barako Bull Energy before an off-season deal landed him a spot in the Blackwater Elite.
Immediately, Lastimosa’s role increased. As one of the more promising young guards in the league, the Elite utilized Lastimosa’s ability to drive, finish above the rim, and hit three-pointers, and he has thrived as the main man for Blackwater.
Lastimosa has delivered well so far in the Philippine Cup, almost doubling his minutes average from last year while putting up 15.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 2.2 APG — all career-highs — for Blackwater.
Against Barako Bull on Friday night, Lastimosa lit the Araneta Coliseum floor, going off for a career-high 38 points on 14-for-20 shooting, including 17 in the fourth quarter as he led the team to a 116-92 victory — the biggest in Blackwater’s young franchise history.
“We just need to win kasi kapag nanalo kami, we still have a chance to make the quarters. Yun lang ang sinabi ni coach. Yung teammates ko, hinanap din nila ako kasi alam nilang mainit ako,” Lastimosa said after the colossal display.
“Yung Ginebra game, muntik na kami manalo dun e, so sense of urgency lang talaga. Laking pasalamat rin naipanalo,” he said.
While enjoying a bigger role, Lastimosa says he is only doing his job as shot-creator of the team, and that is what’s pushing the Elite to another level.
“Hindi ko naman iniisip na ako yung main man. We don’t care who gets the credit kasi ang importante, manalo. Kahit sino sa amin, pwede mag-explode,” he said.
“I just need to be aggressive para maka-create ng shots. Yun ang role ko sa team. Swerte lang ngayon, pumasok yung mga three-pointers.”
Also motivating the 25-year-old guard is trying to turn the team’s fortunes around, and a constant push to prove why he deserves to be part of the league.
“The fear of losing, kasi sa Blackwater sanay na laging talo e. So sana ma-change yun and we were inspired,” he added.
“Nasa baba kami kasi bago lang yung team, puro mga bata. I see through it na every game, I have to prove something. Tulungan lang kami sa team.”
Already having a great conference, Lastimosa is keen on improving his playmaking ability to help the Elite become better.
“Lagi lang nila sinasabi na be aggressive, pero wag pilitin yung mga tira. Yun ang problema ko minsan. I have to read the game better para makita ko yung open baskets and (set up) my teammates.”
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