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    Mon, Sep 26
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    JAYSON Castro has played in so many tension-filled games – from championship series domestically to Asia and world competitions. But the TNT guard admitted he had a bad case of nerves in Wednesday’s game which served as the resumption of the Philippine Cup eliminations.

    On Wednesday, Castro turned nostalgic as he played an official PBA game for the first time at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym, home of the pro league for the next few weeks with Metro Manila still under a stringent community quarantine.

    Incidentally, the school which the locals fondly call DHVSU was where Castro got his high school education.

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    The Betis native said he had mixed emotions as he entered the school where his basketball dream started.

    “Excited na first time ko atang kabahan,” said Castro. “Dito ako namulat sa basketball. Dito ako nangarap. Nung sinabi na dito gagawin ‘yung PBA, parang nakaka-proud kasi nakarating ako dito dahil sa kanila (DVHSU).”

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    “Hindi ko ma-imagine na makakapaglaro uli ako sa gym na ‘to. Naglalaro ako ng high school dito, naglaro ng varsity. Sobrang thankful ako sa PBA na dinala dito ‘yung game. Thankful din ako kay Gov. (Dennis) Pineda at Cong. Dong (Gonzales) na ito ang napili nilang venue,” the Gilas Pilipinas star added.

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    After the initial battle with nerves, Castro kept his emotions in check to become one of the heroes in TNT’s 96-76 win over Blackwater, compiling 11 points, two rebounds, two assists, and a steal in the Tropang GIGA's fourth straight win.

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    The 35-year-old Castro later recalled his time at DHVSU back when he played long hours in the school's cement court during his high school days. He also became the lone player from his batch to move on to play college ball with Philippine Christian University in the NCAA.

    “Before, hindi siya ganito. Cement lang siya. Inimprove siya, gumanda ‘yung school. Nung time ko, ako lang mag-isa sa high school varsity na nakasama sa college,” Castro said.

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    Jayson Castro

    Castro said he will be forever grateful to DHVSU for helping nurture the dream that made him one of the best guards in Asia.

    “’Yung mga naging teammates ko, ‘yung mga sports directors, supportive sila sa akin kasi nakita nila ‘yung potential ko,” said the PBA star. "Thankful ako na na-guide din nila ako."

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    PHOTO: PBA Images
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