CHANGSHA, China – Jason Castro said he is willing to trade his Mythical Team award for the Fiba Asia Championship crown which eluded him for a second straight time.
The shifty combo guard was once more named among the five best players in the region at the conclusion of the Olympic qualifying tournament on Saturday night, but found himself at the losing end anew as Gilas Pilipinas settled for a runner-up finish against host China following a 78-67 defeat.
It mirrored the story line run during the Manila edition of the meet two years ago when the Philippines also finished runner-up behind Iran in atournament where Castro was also named part of the Mythical selection.
“Siyempre mas maganda talaga na ‘yung buong team ang may reward,” said Castro, who joined Nikka Bahrami of Iran, and Chinese players Allun Guo, Qi Zhou, and Yi Jianlian in the Mythical team.
Nonetheless, the 29-year-old Talk ‘N Text star appreciated the individual award which he said would not be possible without the help and support of his Gilas teammates.
“Hindi naman din ako lang 'yun, kundi dahil na rin sa mga teammates ko. Yung mga contributions nila and they’re the ones who encourages me na maging leader,” said the native of Guagua, Pampanga.
Castro however, felt down as he didn’t play as well as expected after finishing with only eight points on a 3-of-14 shooting, which contributed to the Filipinos’ failure to land a spot in next year’s Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
His only consolation is the fact Gilas only got together for less than two months, and still make this far in the tournament.
“Not bad na rin for second place kasi sila (Chinese) seven months nag-training, tayo six weeks lang or two months lang,” said Castro. “We fell short, but ok na.”