CHANGSHA, China – For Jayson Castro, it was time to take matters into his own hands.
With Gilas Pilipinas backed against the wall, the deadly combo guard heeded coach Tab Baldwin's, leading from the front in a merciless 101-50 beating of Hong Kong in Day Two of the Fiba Asia Championship at the Changsha Social Work Colleges gymnasium here.
Castro finished with a team-high 21 points, highlighted by a near-flawless 5-of-6 shooting from the three-point zone, and had five rebounds while mostly calling the shots for Gilas.
That the Talk ‘N Text star suddenly embraced a scorer’s mentality had something to do with Baldwin’s order for him to be more active on offense following Gilas’ shock 75-73 loss to Palestine in the opening day of the tournament.
“I was aggressive as coach Tab told me I need to score, but at the same time, get my teammates involved,” said Castro after the match. “In this game, I tried to be aggressive, I need to be a scorer.”
The 2013 Fiba Asia Mythical team member finished with only 10 points in the team’s loss to Palestine as he deferred more to his teammates as far as offense was concerned.
“I tried to involve my teammates especially the shooters (in the game against Palestine), because we need to prove that we can make the outside shots. They’re questioning that we don’t have shooters so I always try to look to our shooters,” he said.
Unfortunately, none of them came through especially during the stretch when the Palestinians went to the zone defense and came through with a 13-1 run that propelled them back into the game.
“We felt disappointed after the game. We knew we can beat them by 20 or 30, and then in the fourth (quarter), we relaxed,” said Castro.
“So we set our mind that in this game (against Hong Kong), we need to play 40 minutes of basketball. No complacency for 40 minutes.”