HUMBLED as Jayson Castro was winning the Best Player of the Conference in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup, he would have wanted it more for TNT to bag Game Four on Sunday.
"Syempre, masaya ako. Pero syempre, number one goal din namin is makuha yung championship," he said after his side suffered a 106-101 defeat to San Miguel as the championship series gets levelled at two games apiece.
It was Castro's fifth BPC award, tying him for second-most with Danny Ildefonso.
"Sobrang na-appreciate ko yun. Sa age kong ito, nakakuha pa ako ng award na ganoon. At least, nakikita niyo pa yung hard work ko," said the 33-year-old.
But the plum shouldn't really come as a surprise given the tear the Kapampangan slasher has been in this conference, averaging 15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists and towing the KaTropa to the Finals for the first time in two years.
As much as Castro would have liked to celebrate this career milestone, he knows that his job with TNT isn't done, especially with the series now reduced to a virtual best-of-three.
Game Four was a perfect learning curve for TNT as it had to battle back from 15 points down, 84-69, early in the fourth quarter and saw its fightback came too little too late.
"Sa start ng third quarter, ang sama ng execution namin. Ang laki na naman ng hinabol namin," he said. "For us to win, dapat di kami naghahabol. Dapat nandoon lang kami."
And that should come from the defensive end, with San Miguel shooting 49-percent from the field and 40-percent from deep.
"Yung defense yung magpapanalo sa amin, kung paano namin sila ma-stop," observed Castro.
"Pag maganda yung depensa namin, yung offense napakadali sa amin eh. We need to focus sa defense muna talaga, especially sa pick-and-roll."
Castro and the rest of TNT hope that they make the right adjustments in time for the pivotal Game Five on Wednesday as the KaTropa gun to close in on what would be their first championship since 2015.
"Ang tagal na rin naming di nagcha-champion. Sila lagi silang nagcha-champion eh. Sana kami naman," he said.