Still licking the wounds of another failed campaign in the 2016 Commissioners Cup, Tropang TNT star guard Jayson Castro believes the Tropang Texters should improve their chemistry more than anything else if they intend to regain their once-dominant form and keep in contention with the league’s heavyweights.
The 5-foot-11 Castro, 29, was a picture of disappointment on Friday night when he emerged from a grim Tropang TNT dugout following an 81-99 beating dealt by Alaska in their knockout battle for the fourth and final semifinals spot, clearly upset with their early exit.
“Parang hirap na hirap kami maka-semis ngayon,” uttered Castro, who only had six points on 2-of-9 shooting aside from six assists, three rebounds, a steal and a block against three turnovers in 35 minutes of struggle against the Aces. “Unlike before, parang automatic andu’n kami sa semis lagi.”
Castro, a six-time pro league champion, believes the Tropang Texters have what it takes to go deeper in the playoffs but that depends on how they will play as one, cohesive unit.
“Chemistry siguro ‘yun dapat na number 1 na pagtuunan namin ng pansin,” he said. “Kasi ‘yung mga rookies namin medyo nawawala pa. ‘Yung samahan rin namin (apektado) kasi maraming bago (sa team). Kaya kailangan naming mag-jel.”
Although he and the rest of the Tropang Texters were left in shock that their reign in the mid-season tourney came to an early end in the quarterfinal stage, Castro sees a silver lining in the horizon.
“Itong talo na ganito ang tingin ko magdadala ulit sa’min sa finals at championship ulit,” he said.
The Texters’ exit, however, could prove to be a blessing in disguise for Castro as he gains a well-deserved break to recuperate ahead of the Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set from July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Dubbed as “The Blur” for his cat-quick speed, Castro said he plans to undergo a rehab next week for his Achilles injury that has been bothering him for several years.
“Next week, rehab na ulit para pagdating ng practice, ready na. Wala ng dahilan para hindi mag-praktis sa Gilas,” he said. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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