by Waylon Galvez
Despite the exit of TnT KaTropa, veteran guard Jayson Castro remains positive with the little achievements his team gained in their PBA Philippine Cup campaign.
TNT fell short on its bid to dethrone the reigning four-time champion San Miguel Beer following a 96-86 defeat in game 3 of their quarterfinal series last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nevertheless, the 5-foot-10 Castro is pleased with the way they performed. This is something they hope to bring heading into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“Maganda naman sa tingin ko,” said Castro, whose team forced the decisive encounter following a highly physical 93-88 win in Game 3 last Monday that tied the series at 1-1.
“Kasi kung evaluate mo yung performance namin sa Philippine Cup from last year, and saka mga past conferences, malaking difference talaga this conference,” added Castro.
“Nakapasok kami ng quarterfinals versus the defending champion, na na-push namin sa limit nila, yun nga lang we fell short. Pero positive pa rin naman para sa amin,” said Castro.
TNT coach Bong Ravena shared the same sentiment as far as pushing the Beermen to the limit. However, he mentioned that in this type of situations, SMB had the advantage because of its experience.
That is something Ravena hopes they can accomplish – gain experience that would make their players mentally tough.
“They played harder than us,” said Ravena. “Experience-wise, sanay na sila sa ganyang laban e, that’s their advantage. Hindi natitibag hindi bumibigay. We just have to add that mental toughness.”
“Sana with this experience, sana matuto kami, we just have to keep on learning. Games like these will happen, so kailangan mentally tough ka. Mental toughness is earned,” Ravena added.