TROPANG TNT coach Jong Uichico missed the offensive punch provided by Jayson Castro in the Texters’ 104-98 loss to San Miguel Beer on Friday in the last day of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round.
Castro, who came in leading the Texters locals in scoring with 18.6 points on top of 3.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds, showed up in uniform but sat out the match against the Beermen with a bum stomach.
“He was weak so we decided to rest him,” Uichico said of Castro.
Without the Texters star, who’s expected to be back for the Texters in Game One of the best-of-three quarterfinal series against Alaska on Sunday, import David Simon shouldered most of the load, tallying 32 points in 37 minutes.
But Uichico was looking for more production from the locals as rookies Troy Rosario and Mo Tautuaa, and Kelly Williams scored in double figures.
“Steady lang (si Simon), we just needed some (production) kasi wala si Jayson,” Uichico said. “We had to find some other points somewhere.”
The Texters’ particularly missed Castro’s offense when they were held scoreless for almost three minutes in the face of SMB’s late rally.
“It’s hard to stop San Miguel, just too many weapons,” Uichico said.
“But I like the game,” he was quick to add. “It’s better than our previous games with San Miguel where they really dominated, so we know that if we meet them again in a series, we’ve got a legit chance.”
The only time, though, they can face each other again is in the championship round.