PBA: Even without scoring, Jayson Castro 'hugely positive' for TNT

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2021 02:20 PM

TNT guard Jayson Castro soars for a layup against Barangay Ginebra. PBA Media Bureau.
TNT guard Jayson Castro soars for a layup against Barangay Ginebra. PBA Media Bureau.

TNT veteran Jayson Castro bounced back on Sunday after a pair of low-scoring games, but head coach Chot Reyes was never worried about the point guard's statistical production.

Castro earned Best Player of the Game honors after putting up 14 points, five assists and four rebounds in TNT's 88-67 demolition of defending PBA Philippine Cup champion Barangay Ginebra.

It was a big leap from his output two days ago against the NLEX Road Warriors, when Castro missed all of his four field goals and finished scoreless. He did contribute six rebounds in the game, a 100-85 win for the Tropang GIGA. 

Before that, Castro also struggled in TNT's 83-67 defeat against San Miguel Beer, scoring just one point to go along with one assist.

"Every game naman, ready lang ako," Castro said after their triumph over Ginebra that assured them of a spot in the quarterfinals.

For Reyes, there was no reason to be concerned about Castro's point production, as the veteran will always find ways to impact the game even without getting on the board.

"People are saying the last game (against NLEX), masama ang laro ni Jayson because he didn't score," said Reyes. "But if you take a look at the other statistics and also his plus-minus when he was in, he was hugely positive."

Castro was a plus-9 against the Road Warriors, the best among the players who came off the bench. 

"I think that speaks a lot to his willingness to sacrifice, kaya that's a great example sa ibang players sa team," Reyes added.

"The Blur," already a five-time Best Player of the Conference in his career, also stressed that he didn't worry about his scoreless stint against NLEX, which marked the first time in his PBA career that he finished without a single point.

"Kung makikita 'yung line-up namin, especially sa guard position, lahat naman pwede mag-start, lahat pwede mag-off the bench," he explained. "So, 'yun ang kagandahan sa team namin ngayon, na willing mag-sacrifice lahat para sa ikakaganda ng game."

"Basta manalo kami, lahat naman kami masaya. So 'yun 'yung No. 1 na maganda siguro sa amin, sa team namin," he added.

Indeed, even with Castro struggling with his shot, TNT cruised to a comfortable win over NLEX. Rookie guard Mikey Williams carried the scoring load, making 13 of his 20 attempts for 36 points. Roger Pogoy and Kib Montalbo added 13 points each.

Against Ginebra, TNT got another high-scoring game from Williams, who dropped 27 points. Troy Rosario had 14, and Pogoy again contributed 13 markers.

The Tropang GIGA currently pace the league with their 8-1 win-loss record, putting them on track for a Top 2 finish in the elimination round.