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Order from big boss MVP prompts Castro to return to national team

by Niel Victor Masoy, September 30, 2019 9:39pm

Jayson Castro offered a simple explanation as to why he decided to return to the national basketball team after previously stating that he's done playing for the Gilas Pilipinas.

Castro, who begged off from joining the Gilas’ pool for the FIBA World Cup and last played for the Philippines in the sixth window of the Asian Qualifiers last February, said he came back as per the order of his TNT KaTropa boss Manny V. Pangilinan - who is also the bankroller of Gilas.

“Alam niyo naman kung bakit diba,” Castro rhetorically asked reporters following Southeast Asian Games-bound Gilas’ practice on Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

“Tumawag lang yung big boss namin na ni-request ako ni coach Tim [Cone], kasi kailangan daw nila ng point guard,” added Castro.

Joining Castro in the Gilas 15-man pool for the SEA Games basketball tourney are his TNT teammates Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario. San Miguel Beermen’s quarter of June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross, Christian Standhardinger, and Marcio Lassiter are also in the pool as well as the Barangay Ginebra core of L.A Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Art Dela Cruz, Stanley Pringle, and Greg Slaughter.

Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters’ Matthew Wright and Alaska Aces’ Vic Manuel were also included by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in the pool.

Meanwhile, Castro - the two-time Best Point Guard in Asia - was just glad to reunite with his Gilas 2.0 teammate L.A Tenorio, whom he talked to before being approached by reporters for an interview.

“Sobrang hassle kasi di ko na-imagine na dito kami ulit magkikita kasi outside basketball na lang kami nagkikita-kita. Pagdating namin parang naalala namin lahat ulit. Masaya ako,” remarked the soft-spoken Castro. 

Castro also shared he likes how coach Tim Cone handles the national squad in their very first practice for the SEA Games.

“Sobrang detalyado lahat, tsaka every movement ine-explain niya. Sobrang helpful sa player kasi yun mga ganoong coach minsan mo lang maging coach kaya parang i-absorb mo lahat ng malalaman mo sa kanya,” he utterred.

“This is my first time kay coach Tim. Kahit all-star magkalaban pa rin kami,” Castro added with a chuckle. 

Castro also talked about Cone’s coaching system which is predicated in the concepts of the triangle offense. For him, he doesn’t see the players in the pool having a hard time adapting to it.

“Siguro yung magiging problem lang kung paano namin i-aadapt (yung sistema). Since lahat naman dito beterano, madalin naman makaka adapt sa sistema ni coach Tim,” he said. 

Castro, who first played in the SEA Games in 2007, said that conditioning is not a concern for Gilas as well.

“Yung every Monday naman malaking tulong na yun. At least nagkikita-kita pa rin kami tsaka yun nga lahat naman kami kundisyon, nasa game shape so walang problema sa conditioning.” 

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