MANILA, Philippines – Jayson Castro showcased an all-round performance of 20 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds in TNT KaTropa’s 118-114 quarterfinals win against Rain or Shine but his biggest play came out to be a crucial missed 3-pointer.
With the game tied at 114-all, "The Blur," the team’s known top dog, took matters into his own hands and rose up from 3-point distance only to have his shot go wide left.
Fortunately for TNT, import Glen Rice Jr was there to get the airball to score the go-ahead putback a la alley-oop, 116-114.
Despite the miss, Castro made it look like the perfect set-up job, just as Rice told reporters in the post-game presser.
“It was definitely a pass. It was just a good pass, I guess. I just happened to be open, he found me, and it went in,” said Rice.
Castro admitted that he advised Rice to get the offensive board in case he misses since there was still a lot of time for Rain or Shine to potentially score the go-ahead bucket.
“Sobrang ganda noong game na ‘yun na para sa akin, kahit matalo kami sa game na ‘yun, okay pa rin kasi both teams makikita mo na ayaw magpatalo (It was a really good game. Even if we lost, it would still be okay for me since you can see both teams really fought hard not to lose),” Castro said.
“May mga kaunting lapses lang sila during the endgame which is dun lang kami nagkaroon ng window (They had lapses in the endgame, that's why we had the window to win the game)," he added.
Castro and his KaTropa will face the Ginebra San Miguel in the semifinals for the second straight conference and they hope to defeat the crowd favorite the same way they did in the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals months ago.
“Alam naman natin Ginebra, tough team, defending champion. Sana maging magandang series and at the same time, excited din ako kasi Ginebra, machachallenge ka talaga kung paano sila talunin,” Castro added.
(We all know Ginebra is a tough team and the defending champion. I hope it would become a good series and at the same time, I am excited to face Ginebra since we will be challenged in trying to defeat them). – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.