MANILA, Philippines -- TNT star Jayson Castro assured that there is no championship hangover for the Tropang GIGA, despite a losing start to their campaign in the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup.
The Tropang GIGA couldn't complete a comeback on Wednesday night, falling 102-100 to the NLEX Road Warriors. TNT overhauled an 11-point deficit but couldn't execute in their final possession, with Roger Pogoy's attempt at a game-winning three-pointer coming after the buzzer.
Afterward, NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao suggested that they had played the Tropang GIGA at the right time, while they were still adjusting to their new import.
"Matagal nagbakasyon 'yung TNT, tapos siyempre meron pang hangover 'yan from the championship. So, swerte kami sa schedule," Guiao said. "Swerte kami sa timing. We're able to play the tough teams while they're still not a hundred percent ready. Again, that's the luck of the draw."
But Castro, who had nine points and two assists in less than 20 minutes of playing time, insisted that this was not the case.
"Wala na, kasi ang tagal na noon," Castro said when asked about a potential championship hangover.
"Start na 'yung season, so kailangan namin mag-focus on this conference. Kasi tapos na 'yun eh. So, ongoing na 'yung season, lahat nakapaglaro na," he said. "Ito 'yung reality, kailangan namin mag-focus dito para makapunta ulit sa kung saan namin gusto."
The All-Star guard instead chalked up the loss to miscommunication in the end game, although he was still in high spirits after the result.
"We're right there naman," Castro pointed out. "Even when we were down by 11, and then we kept fighting pa rin, kasi alam naman namin na once na nakuha namin 'yung flow namin, which is nangyari naman, nakahabol kami."
"Pero 'yun nga, hindi lang namin na-finish ng maganda," he added.
Five TNT players scored in double-digits, led by Kelly Williams who had 16 points. Import McKenzie Moore had 15 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, and free agent pick-up Gab Banal had 14 points, making 3 of his 5 three-pointers.
But the Tropang GIGA were undone by their former import, KJ McDaniels, who exploded for 33 points in the game.
While it was not how they wanted to start off their campaign, Castro is confident that the Tropang GIGA can only get better.
"Marami pa naman kaming time para ma-correct 'yun," he said.
"First game pa lang 'to, matagal pa naman 'yung season. Pero, 'yun nga, sabi nga nila, every game counts. Siguro lesson na lang sa amin 'to," he added.
TNT will try to bounce back on Friday against the Alaska Aces.