Castro focused on grander goal for TNT after seizing Best Player plum

MANILA, Philippines – Jayson Castro may have been feted PBA Best Player of the Conference for the first time in nearly 3 years, but he has his eyes set on a grander goal for TNT. 

Ending a two-year title drought remains at the top of the list for Castro after the coronation of his fifth BPC plum ended in a 101-106 loss to San Miguel in Game 4 of the Commissioner's Cup finals on Sunday, August 14. 

A win would have given the KaTropa a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven affair, but the Beermen proved too composed in the endgame on the way to levelling the series score. 

"Of course I'm happy. But our number one goal is to win a championship because it's been a long time seen we've won a championship, while [San Miguel] always wins championships," Castro said in Filipino. 

For the third straight game, TNT fell back into its bad habits as it trailed by as much as 15 points in the second half after allowing San Miguel to unload 12 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter.

While it managed to turn around a 17-point deficit to a 10-point victory in Game 3, TNT came up short in its comeback attempt this time with San Miguel making the right plays in the final 30 seconds. 

"For us to win, we shouldn't be playing catchup. We should always be there in the game. At the start of the 3rd quarter, we didn't execute our plays," Castro said. 

Castro also highlighted the need to perform better on defense after TNT allowed San Miguel to shoot a respectable 49% from the field to its 41% clip. 

"Defense wins us games. The offense will come to us when we display good defense. We need to focus on defense first, especially on the pick and roll." 

Castro and TNT seek to regain the series lead in Game 5 at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 14.

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.