JAYSON Castro confirmed on Friday he won't be playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the coming FIBA World Cup.
Having served the national team in the past for seven straight years while cutting a reputation as one of Asia's top point guards, Castro said it's about time he puts his family as his top prority.
The TnT Katropa star just got married to longtime partner Lyle Castro last week.
Castro added he already talked to coach Yeng Guiao, the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), and even SBP chairman emeritus and TnT franchise owner Manny V. Pangilinan.
"Sabi ko sa kanila I want to focus muna sa family ko, kasi almost seven years na non-stop basketball," said Castro, who first played for Gilas in 2013 as a member of the team that finished second to Iran in the Fiba Asia Championship.
The stint with the national team had Castro repeatedly postponing his wedding, which finally pushed through only last Saturday.
'Sobrang dinedicate ko yung sarili ko doon, as in yung brain ko nasa Gilas," added the two-time best point guard of Asia.
Guiao earlier bared about the possibility of Castro not suiting up for the national team for the coming August 31 to Sept. 15 world meet in China.
The veteran guard said he hopes everybody in the team understands his decision.
"Naintindihan naman nila coach Yeng yun nga pinag-usapan namin yung situation kung bakit ako nagpapaalam muna sa Gilas. And even yung mga bosses sa Gilas," said Castro, who finished with 22 points in TnT Katropa's 109-102 win over Columbian Dyip Friday night in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Astrodome.
At the same time, Castro said his absence would give the younger players the chance to step up and be of service to the national team.
"Siguro it's time to give the younger guys naman the chance, at saka nakita ko naman na ready na rin sila," added the soft-spoken playmaker.
Asked if the Filipinos have seen the last of Jayson Castro playing for Gilas Pilipinas, Castro said it could be.
"Siguro," was his curt reply.