Jayson Castro, who remains an integral part of TNT’s early success despite being overshadowed by his younger teammates, became the latest player to join the 8,000-point club during Monday’s comeback win over Phoenix Super LPG.
Castro’s layup with 8:50 left in the first quarter of the Tropang Giga’s 110-91 triumph at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center made him the 35th player in PBA history to reach the milestone.
He wound up scoring 10 points, including six in the third when TNT was able to complete a turnaround after being down 14 in the second quarter, though much of the attention was on RR Pogoy who dropped 30 points despite nursing a sprained right ankle.
Coach Bong Ravena said Castro hardly cares if the spotlight is currently on Pogoy, Ray Parks Jr. and Poy Erram, who have been mainly responsible for the Tropang Giga’s 4-0 start inside the bubble.
In fact, it was Castro, Ravena said, who initiated the need for him to play the complementary role.
“We had a meeting with the players before the bubble and Jayson said that ‘Don’t worry about me. I will adjust to everyone. Basta every game nandyan lang ako lagi.’ So ganun na ang level ni Jayson,” said Ravena.
The Gilas Pilipinas legend’s numbers remain steady at 16.0 points on 48-percent shooting, 3.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals through four games.
He can still deliver when needed, particularly during the official restart of the season against Alaska last Oct. 11 when Castro came through with big plays on both ends to preserve a 100-95 victory.
Against defending champion San Miguel Beer last Friday, Castro dished out 11 assists, some of which were set up to Erram who ended up with a career-high 28 points as TNT rolled to a 107-88 win.
Castro was 3-of-10 against Phoenix but his layup with two minutes to go in the third put TNT on top for good at 70-68.