NOT just the two of them.

But fast-rising young dribblers Carlo Lastimosa and Samuel Joseph Marata are certainly the only ones from Cagayan de Oro strutting their stuff today in the big city’s prestigious leagues — with legendary status running in their blood.

Nephew of former PBA star and Alaska stalwart Jojo Lastimosa, the former Ateneo Blue Eagle has been touted as the primary offensive weapon of the College of St. Benilde.

The NCAA League has fast become the exciting basketball arena with the addition of Carlo Lastimosa as one of its vital cogs.

“He can shoot, defend and rebound and is pretty much dangerous in one-on-one play. Maliban sa pagiging offensive threat, hawig din ang hair-do n’ya kay Jolas na naka-spike,” an NCAA Games commentator once said of the eldest son of Danny Lastimosa, Jolas’ older brother and himself a former member of the once-fabled Mama’s Love team in the old days of Cebu basketball league.

Just recently, the sophomore guard Marata completed one hell of a big game for the De La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP Games.

Nephew of the late Ricric Marata who died last April in New York at the age of 45, Joseph Samuel Marata hit back-to-back treys that helped the Green Archers roar back from 9-point deficit and defeat bitter rival Ateneo, 66-63 last July 24 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Marata’s clutch baskets from beyond the rainbow territory also snapped the Archers’ six-game losing streak against the Blue Eagles dating back to 2008.

His perfect 4 of 4 shooting from the 3-point arc had likewise earned for him the Accel-Filoil UAAP Press Corps Players of the Week award in the later part of July.

“I’ve been regularly following his games in the UAAP and we’re always excited to watch him play,” said lawyer Maricar San Jose-Rosario, Marata’s aunt and incidentally this paper’s new executive publisher.

Joseph’s mother Joy and her husband “Tata” (Samuel) were the first to notice their budding son’s fast growth when he was still studying here at St. Francis School and later St. Mary’s School in Barangay Macasandig.

“Taman lang sa 2nd year high school siya dire nag Manila na dayon. His uncle (referring to PBA star Cyrus Baguio) is also very supportive, like giving him a pair of basketball shoes. Above all, our nephew too is proud to be and will always stay a true-blue Kagay-anon,” madame Maricar shared in casual conversation with Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro’s editorial staff.

article by Lynde Salgados of Sun Star CDO

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