Almost there: Pam Lastimosa close to returning to UST training

A fallen Tigress is on her way back to the den.

Seemingly forgotten during UST’s poor showing in UAAP Season 78, former team captain Pam Lastimosa is a few days away from returning to training after a torn left ACL marred what was supposed to be her last playing year for the Golden Tigresses.

“Medyo malapit ng makabalik for training siguro by August makabalik na,” Lastimosa told FOX Sports. “Di pa ko nakakabalik sa doctor pero for clearance na yung injury ko within the week.”

Watching from the sidelines as her UST teammates Cherry Rondina, EJ Laure and Jessey de Leon delivered in the PSL last Sunday, Lastimosa expressed her anticipation to return for her last playing year with UST.

“Inaantay lang na makatraining ako for UST kasi maglalaro pa ko for UAAP,” she said. “Namiss ko na talaga maglaro ng volleyball nakakamiss maglaro kasi nanonood na nga lang ako.”

Lastimosa, however, was not included in the Tigresses’ lineup in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference and will likely not be inserted in the group midway through the tournament even if she was cleared to play.

This was both a managerial and personal decision as the open hitter said she won’t risk re-injuring her left knee — her first-ever major injury — due to lack of training.

“Gusto ko hindi ko minamadali yung rehab ko para sure talaga to avoid re-injury so hindi ko hinabol yung V-League, dinahan-dahan ko para dun tayo sa mas ok kahit matagal pero mas [sigurado].”

“Siguro you have to deal with it kasi wala ka namang magagawa kasi nandyan na yung injury, mindset na lang is think positive.”

Instead, Lastimosa will observe from the background when the Golden Tigresses open their V-League campaign on Wednesday against San Beda College.

“Yung V-League for exposure, kasi may mga new players dun na lalaro. Siguro dun din yung titingnan nila coach for UAAP and nagte-training naman sila ng maayos para makapagcompete sila,” she explained. “Confident naman ako na maglalaro sila ng maayos and pinaghandaan naman nila coach din yung team.”

Lastimosa is optimistic this will help them break UST’s 4-year Final Four drought in the UAAP after the Tigresses had a forgettable campaign early this year.

“Siguro last year, kinulang, kinapos pero hopefully this coming UAAP season, pumasok muna kami sa Final Four which is yung pinaka-goal namin.” — By John Chester Fajardo