After scattering 24 points through three quarters, it appeared strange not to see TNT combo guard Jayson Castro return to action in the last period on Thursday night.
The “Blur” said the coaches, particularly head mentor Jong Uichico might be thinking of preserving him for Game 3 as the Bolts completed a wire-to-wire 106-91 win to tie their PBA Governors Cup semifinal series at 1-1.
“Siguro alam din ng mga coaches na up by 20 na sila, so para ma-refresh na lang sa third game,” Castro told media men as he failed to return to the game since being pulled out with still over 5 minutes left in the third quarter.
“Coaches’ decision iyun (his benching) and at least, alam naman namin maganda yung game ng Meralco.”
The 30-year-old Castro pointed out that everyone saw how much the Bolts wanted to win after crashing the boards, attacking the basket and displaying better ball movement throughout the game.
“Siguro yung (lack of) energy namin saka lahat ng mga 50-50 balls sa kanila (Bolts) eh, so na outhustle kami, na outrebound,” added Castro, one of the top candidates for this season’s MVP award.
The TNT combo guard hopes the 15-point loss will serve as a wake-up call for the Katropa, who entered the playoffs as the top seed after posting a near perfect 10-1 card in the eliminations.
“Siguro naman kailangan din namin matalo para malaman namin weaknesses namin,” shared Castro.
“Second time pa lang (to lose) pero parang yung mga players naging kunyento na. Siguro wake-up call na matalo kami para pagdating ng Game 3 ready kami.”
The loss was just TNT’s second overall this conference in 14 games.
Game 3 is set on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – Richard Dy
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