Free from injury that slowed down "The Blur" in the past few seasons, Castro was looking like his old, deadly self with signature blinding drives and booming triples on his way to a 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists performance.
Veteran Jayson Castro ready to take bigger role for injury-plagued TNT
At a glance
Jayson Castro has plenty of gas left in his tank.
That was undoubtedly in full display when the veteran playmaker took over for TNT in an overtime win over Converge on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Free from injury that slowed down "The Blur" in the past few seasons, Castro was looking like his old, deadly self with signature drives and booming triples on his way to a 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists performance.
With the absence of RR Pogoy and the termination of Mikey William’s contract – two of the team’s most potent scorers – on top of the slew of injuries that continue to hound TNT’s lineup, Casto knew full well that a large chunk of responsibilities once again fall on his shoulders.
“After bubble sobrang inalagaan ko yung katawan ko, yun nga, one of the veterans (kaya) kailangan kong present lagi sa practice, sa games,” said Castro.
“Nagkataon lang siguro na nainjured sila pero they are ready naman during mga crucial games and habang wala pa sila kung kailangan ko iextedn yung minutes ko okay lang kasi I feel healthy naman talaga,” he added.
Castro already did most of the lifting against the FiberXers when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson got thrown out of the game early in the third frame. A leader that he is, Castro took it upon himself to step up and lead by example to his younger teammates.
“As a veteran and one of the leaders sa team na ito, kailangan namin ipakita na without import we're still fighting. At the same time yung character ng team, knowing TNT yung winning tradition namin kailangan namin ipakita yun,” said Castro.
For head coach Jojo Lastimosa, there was some sense of comfort seeing Castro healthy and leading the way for TNT even in crucial moments.
“That was vintage Jayson man. If Jayson wants to win a game he's gonna win that game. I think I was hearing them in the huddle na he's not gonna allow these guys to lose tonight, so was Kelly (Williams), so that's the kind of vets that we have here in TNT,” said Lastimosa.
“It's just nice to have guys who are used to playing pressure basketball. “Yun lang yung comfort ko dun. If I see Jayson, if I see Ryan (Reyes), if I see Kelly ‘yung mga beterano namin then I know that we have a chance,” he added.