REIGNING Philippine Cup champion Talk ’N Text is on a roll, thanks to Jason Castro’s consistent performance as the Texters survived what coach Norman Black has described as a “hell week.”
Playing three games in a span of six days, Castro showed no signs of slowing down, averaging 18.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists to help Talk ‘N Text score big wins over Rain or Shine, Barako Bull and Air21.
The lightning-quick guard out of Philippine Christian University banged in 13 points, hauled down three boards and dished off three assists, joining forces with Ranidel de Ocampo in a crucial second half burst to help Talk ’N Text turn back Rain or Shine, 90-87.
The Gilas Pilipinas guard continued to shine when he exploded for 23 points, six rebounds and nine assists three days after, stepping up big in the absence of veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag to power Talk ’N Text to an 87-80 overtime victory over a tough Barako Bull side.
On Sunday, Castro kept up his stellar play, mocking the defenses thrown at him en route to a 21-point, six-rebound effort to lead Talk ’N Text to an 87-82 win over the Air21 Express.
Castro’s all-out effort gave the three-time all-Filipino conference champion a 6-2 win-loss record, good for third spot in the standings.
“Sinabi ni coach na kailangan ko mag-step up every game. Wala kasi si Ryan (Reyes) since the start of the conference so kailangan every game, nandun ako lagi,” said a soft-spoken Talk ’N Text guard, whose sterling performance earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps. Player of the Week for the period covering December 15-22, edging out Barangay Ginebra’s athletic forward Japeth Aguilar.
Castro hopes the Texters could keep their razor-sharp form as they shoot for a league record fourth straight all-Filipino title.