MANILA, Philippines – Jayson Castro sat at the podium before the media happy to be holding his fourth Best Player of the Conference plaque.
But he could not hide his disappointment from falling short of a championship in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup.
"Sobrang happy ako, pero pag nababasa ko yung series namin versus Meralco, medyo frustrated kasi feeling namin nandoon na kami kasi ang ganda ng start ng season namin," Castro said as Game 2 of the Finals rolled along a few feet beyond where he sat inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"Ang ganda ng start namin, tapos yung nga pagdating sa series bigla kaming nawala."
(I’m very happy, but every time I read about our series versus Meralco, I feel frustrated because we were right there and we had a good start to the season. We started well but when it came to the series we were gone.)
The 30-year-old playmaker led TNT KaTropa to a strong 10-1 eliminations round finish, good for the top seed in the playoffs this conference. But they had a lackadaisical semifinals and fell to sister team Meralco in 4 games.
“Isang lesson na lang siguro sa amin ito para pagdating sa mga next na series,” Castro rued. “Mag-adjust na kami. Kasi feeling namin na parang na-outhustle kami, na-outplay lahat e.”
(This is a lesson for us for other series. We have to adjust. We felt we were out-hustled and outplayed.)
Though fetted with another shiny award, Castro has spent his offseason so far trying to move on from a disappointing season. He is biding his time and re-focusing for when the new season opens next month.
Castro, who missed the awarding ceremony Sunday, October 9 after getting stuck in traffic for 4 hours, said he will continue playing his best in the upcoming Philippine Cup. And hopefully it’ll yield him another BPC.
“Hindi ko masasabi kasi ako, every time naman na naglalaro ako, binibigay ko yung best ko. Never naman akong parang nag-relax or ano. Once na nag-step ako sa court, talagang binibigay ko yung best ko para manalo yung team namin. Tignan na lang natin,” he said.
(I can’t say but every time I play I give it my best. I never relaxed. Once I step on the court, I really give it my all to help the team win. We’ll see.)
Castro is currently tied with big man June Mar Fajardo for number of BPC awards. This Governors’ Cup BPC was disputed between them with Castro edging Fajardo by 1092-857 in statistical points.
Fajardo and Castro are also the top two in the season Most Valuable Player race, though Fajardo is considerably ahead in statistical points.
The 6-time PBA champion does not deny wanting to win individual awards such as the MVP, though he wants something more.
“Lahat naman siguro ng player gustong makuha yung award na yun pero sa akin, iniisip ko kung paano makapasok ng finals yung team ko,” he explained.
“Kasi kapag nakapasok ng finals, lahat parang andun na. Kung talagang para sa'yo, ibibigay talaga. So yun ang motivation ko sa sarili ko, na All-Filipino or Governors’ or Commissioner's cup, gusto ko makapasok ng finals.”
(All players probably want to win that award but for me, I think of how I can get my team to the finals. Because when you’re in the finals, all those awards follow. If it’s meant for you, it will be given to you. That’s my motivation for myself, that whether it’s the All-Filipino, Governors’ or Commissioner’s Cup, I want to make the finals.)
The annual Leo Awards will take place on Friday, October 14 before Game 4 of the PBA Finals between Meralco and Barangay Ginebra. – Rappler.com