MANILA, Philippines -- For the second straight week, TNT veteran Jayson Castro has earned Player of the Week honors in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
This, as the 36-year-old guard propelled the Tropang GIGA to the finals of the All-Filipino Conference with a scintillating performance against the Magnolia Hotshots last Sunday.
After breaking the Hotshots' hearts with a game-winner last week, Castro proceeded to torch Magnolia for 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting in Game 6, while adding three rebounds, two assists, and a steal. TNT cruised to an 87-74 win to wrap up the series and punch their ticket to the finals.
Castro did it all in just 28 minutes of play on his way to capturing a second consecutive Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period August 10-14.
In three games last week, Castro averaged 17.7 points on a blistering 73% clip, including 40% from long range. He also tallied 3.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game, and was the unanimous choice for Player of the Week.
Castro deflected praise for his performances, noting that he was only taking advantage of the defensive attention on teammate Mikey Williams.
"Kung makita niyo 'yung defense nila, halos naka-deny na kay Mikey. So as a veteran, kailangan ko na talaga mag-takeover kasi may mga nakikita akong binibigay nilang shots," said Castro.
"Halos lahat naman naka-focus kay Mikey, so kailangan ko tumulong talaga on both ends. At the same time, as a point guard, kailangan ko rin sila i-set up. For me, 'yung offense second na lang. ‘Yung i-orchestrate 'yung offense namin, 'yun 'yung importante sa'kin," he also said.
Castro and the Tropang GIGA are now waiting for the winner of the other semifinal series between San Miguel Beer and Meralco to determine who they will play in the best-of-seven finals.
There, "The Blur" is determined to help TNT secure a second straight All-Filipino title and add to his collection of trophies.
"As a player, 14 or 15 years na ko sa team na 'to, 'yun ang mentality ko -- to win another championship, and at the same time 'yung legacy ko rito, 'yun 'yung gusto ko maging example para sa mga darating na bagong player dito," said Castro.
Also nominated for the weekly plum being handed out by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat were Castro's TNT teammates Poy Erram and RR Pogoy, as well as Meralco's Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge, Allein Maliksi, and Raymond Almazan.