JAY Washington wants to make up for lost time with Talk ‘N Text.
After being away for about six seasons with the Tropang Texters, Washington admitted his desire to finally become a part of the team’s championship culture beginning in this PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals opposite Rain or Shine.
“If anything, I got a little bit motivation being back here (in the Finals) the second time (with Talk ‘N Text) after missing out so much with this team and all the championships they got under their belt. I missed all that,” the 33-year-old former Eckerd College standout disclosed to Spin.ph during the pre-Finals press conference Monday held at the Sambokojin Restaurant in Eastwood.
Washington began his career with Talk ‘N Text in 2006 and played for the franchise for three seasons before surprisingly being shipped to San Miguel Beer in exchange for the draft rights to Jayson Castro, selected third overall in the 2008 Rookie Draft.
The 6-foot-7 Fil-Am wingman won two championships and a pair of runner-up finishes while playing for the Beermen from 2008 to 2011, a stretch that saw him also win two Best Player of the Conference awards.
But it was during his time with the Beermen that Talk ‘N Text established a dynasty in the league which saw the franchise bag four Philippine Cup titles (2009, 2011-2013) and a Commissioner’s Cup championship (2011).
Now after returning home, Washington’s longing to play a vital role in helping the Tropang Texters regain that winning culture serves as his biggest motivation.
“It feels good to be in that (opportunity win a PBA title) situation again. It’s been a long time I had this feeling,” said Washington.
“I feel a little bit more anxious to get to try and be a part of that winning culture, dynasty-type team. In my career, that’s all I want to be, a contender every year,” he added.
Times though have changed since his first stint with Talk ‘N Text.
The Tropang Texters don’t need him to score that much as they have a monster import in Ivan Johnson and Asia’s best point guard in Jayson Castro doing the damage on offense.
Stretch-four Ranidel de Ocampo and Larry Fonacier are also there to provide additional firepower from the outside.
And so Washington tried to re-invent himself by evolving from a sweet-shooting wingman to an import stopper.
So far, he was able to do his part adequately during Talk ‘N Text’s 3-1 semifinal series win over deposed champion Purefoods.
And he intends to continue to do the same thing against the Elasto Painters beginning in Wednesday’s Game One at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“The last two teams left. It feels good to be in the team where this is the expectation and where they should be in every conference,” Washington said.
“It’s definitely good that way and I’m glad to be able to get here so soon. But mission is not accomplished yet because we still got seven more games,” he added.