MANILA, Philippines -- Jayson Castro expressed his delight to be back in the national team and his excitement to be coached by Tim Cone, but said little about his future with Gilas Pilipinas.
The TNT guard officially returned to the program on Monday, as part of the pool that will compete in the 30th Southeast Asian Games later this year. Castro had opted not to play in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup earlier this month, instead giving way to young up-and-coming guards.
But he agreed to return for the SEA Games, upon the invitation of Cone who included him in his pool of veteran players.
"Tinawagan lang ako ng big boss namin, and sinabi niya na ni-request ako ni Coach Tim, kasi kailangan niya ng veteran na point guard," said the 33-year-old Castro.
"This is my first time kay Coach Tim. Kahit All-Star, magkalaban pa rin kami. So ayun nga, happy ako na under ako sa kanya," he added.
But when asked if returning to the national team was an easy decision for him to make, Castro only politely said: "Next question."
When pressed if this will be his last stint for Gilas Pilipinas, Castro declined to comment.
Instead, Castro's focus was on the task at hand, as the Philippines is determined to extend their regional dominance in basketball. This will be Castro's second time to compete in the SEA Games, having also played in 2007 in Nakhon Ratchasima.
"Lahat naman may chamba, 'di ba," he said. "So ayun 'yung parang iniiwasan nila coach, at tsaka 'yung buong grupo ng SBP ngayon."
"So 'yun nga, kaya 'yung preparation din ng mga coaches, sobrang 'yun nga, 'yung scouting din nila sobrang advanced na. So malaking tulong sa mga player 'yun," he added.
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