PBA Philippine Cup

Jayson Castro aims to embellish TNT legacy with another PBA crown

Delfin Dioquino
Jayson Castro aims to embellish TNT legacy with another PBA crown

VETERAN. Jayson Castro says he wants to set an example for new players who will eventually join TNT.

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Jayson Castro has a chance to capture his eighth PBA title after steering TNT to its third straight Philippine Cup finals appearance

MANILA, Philippines – When all is said and done, Jayson Castro wants to be known as a player whose legacy with TNT is synonymous with winning.

Castro has a chance to capture his eighth PBA title as he steered the Tropang Giga to their third straight Philippine Cup finals appearance after turning back the hands of time in the playoffs.

Through seven playoff games, the 36-year-old veteran averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds.

He then saved the best for last in the semifinals, netting a conference-high 26 points on a 10-of-13 shooting as TNT finished off Magnolia with an 87-74 win in Game 6 on Sunday, August 14.

“I’ve been with the team for 14 or 15 years and that has always been my mentality: to win another championship,” Castro said in a mix of Filipino and English.

“At the same time, I want to leave a legacy and set an example for the new players who will play for the franchise,” he added.

Castro has enjoyed a career resurgence in terms of getting back to the PBA summit since Chot Reyes’ return as Tropang Giga head coach.

Enduring a six-year title drought, Castro and TNT finally got over the hump by ruling the All-Filipino tournament last season in Reyes’ first conference back at the helm.

“It feels good [to be back in the finals with coach Chot]. He drafted me. He trusts me a lot, so I have to repay him,” Castro said. “We know each other very well.”

For his part, Reyes said Castro inspires his teammates to be accountable, which is key to their success as the Tropang Giga seek to complete their title defense.

“He’ll be the first one to say in practice, ‘My bad, my fault.’ For example, his man scores on him a lot, he’ll own up to it, he’ll man up to it. That is a perfect example for the rest of the team,” Reyes said.

“If you see Jayson Castro doing that, then it is contagious. And my big belief is that positive leadership is contagious.”

TNT plays the waiting game as San Miguel and Meralco vie for the last remaining finals berth in a do-or-die Game 7 on Wednesday, August 17, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.