ANTIPOLO – Jayson Castro said he looks forward to being called up to the Team Pilipinas team in the next Fiba World Cup qualifying window - and playing for the first time under national coach Yeng Guiao.
Castro, 32, needs only to sit out one more game to complete his three-game suspension for his role in the brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia last July, meaning he will be available for selection in the December 3 home match against Iran.
Castro, the spearhead of the Gilas Pilipinas teams under Chot Reyes, said he is very much willing to fly the flag if he gets invited by Guiao.
“Kung invite nila ako, why not,” Castro said on Friday following TNT’s match against Magnolia in the PBA Governors Cup. “For flag and country, available ako lagi.”
This early, Guiao said he is interested in tapping the services of Castro, who was named to the Mythical Five in the Fiba Asia Championship hosted by the country in 2013 and was regarded as Asia's best guard.
Guiao is set to meet with the PBA board on Nov. 6 to discuss his lineup for the Nov. 30 match against Kazakhstan and the Dec. 3 grudge match against Iran, both at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Castro said he hasn't played under Guiao, a fellow Kapampangan.
“Sobrang masaya ako kung ganun. At the same time, hindi pa ako naha-handle ni coach Yeng. Nakita ko, alam ko ‘yung system niya pero hindi pa niya ako naha-handle,” said Castro.
Castro said he is also willing to play alongside and share knowledge with Alex Cabagnot and Scottie Thompson, who wore the Team Pilipinas colors during the recent Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers window.
“Ako naman, willing ako matuto sa kanila. ‘Yun naman ang thinking ko lagi. Kung may makuha akong tips sa kanila, at the same time, kung mashe-share ko rin ‘yung knowledge ko sa basketball,” the TNT star said.