As He Reunites His Comrade Chot at TNT, Jolas Is Out to Establish Himself in His New Role

Jun 19, 2022

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Isabelo “Jojo” Lastimosa Jr. (born March 10, 1964) is a retired professional basketball player who played for the Purefoods Hotdogs, Alaska Aces, and Pop Cola Panthers in the Philippine Basketball Association from 1988 to 2002. During the 1980s and 1990s, he was a member of the Philippine national basketball team. In Cebu City, he also played for the University of San Jose – Recoletos. He also spent time at the Ateneo de Manila. He is the team manager of the PBA’s TNT Tropang Giga. For his deadly perimeter shooting, he has earned the nicknames “Jolas,” “Mr. Clutch,” “The 4th Quarter Man,” and “PBA Jordan. After an eight-year stint with NLEX, Jojo Lastimosa was candid enough to admit that good friend Chot Reyes helped him win the job as squad manager of TNT. Lastimosa took over for the retiring Gabby Cui at TNT, and the two had been reunited since their days at Alaska. He was outspoken enough to disclose that his employment had Reyes’ backing. “When management selects someone, the coach must be consulted.” On Thursday night, Lastimosa stated, “I think they have to ask his opinion, and whether the personality gels with the coach, and if I could genuinely contribute to the franchise.” “I’d say Chot played a significant role in my employment, but I also have to show that I don’t require a ‘backer’ to get into a position.” In the early 1990s, Lastimosa played for Reyes at Alaska, where the TNT coach served as the assistant coach under Tim Cone on the squad that won the Aces’ first championship. Lastimosa later returned to Alaska, where he eventually retired, for a brief reunion at Pop Cola. However, this will be the first time the close friends would be serving in distinct capacities. “I’ve taken on a new role to assist him in making things easier for him to coach – getting him the players, providing him with the staff he requires.” So that’s my purpose here, to make Chot’s job simpler,” said the PBA legend, who was named among the league’s 25 Greatest Players. Lastimosa’s departure from NLEX, where he served as a deputy to coach Yeng Guiao, is bittersweet, especially after seeing the organization establish and develop a roster that he believes can contend. “There’s part of me na nanghihinayang, but there’s a part of me din na looking forward to being in a franchise that has a big history of winning just like Alaska,” he mentioned. “I miss winning. And they have a winning tradition.” Lastimosa’s debut game as TNT team manager didn’t go well, as the Tropang Giga were defeated by the NLEX Road Warriors, 90 to 89.
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