THE student has become the teacher.
Jayson Castro has found himself in a mentor role as he forms the PBA’s most explosive backcourt combination with Terrence Romeo for TNT KaTropa starting in the Commissioner’s Cup that unfolds on April 22.
The 31-year-old Castro is embracing his leadership role that former backcourt partner Jimmy Alapag once played with the 'The Blur' as his protégé.
“Parang ako na 'yung Jimmy Alapag,” Castro said with a smile after the Texters’ tune-up game against Alaska on Wednesday. “Syempre yung leadership ni Jimmy, hindi naman mapapantayan yun, pero I'm trying na maging vocal sa kanila, at maging leader.”
“Sana maging maganda yung result namin with Terrence,” the soft-spoken superstar guard added.
The arrival of the three-time scoring champion Romeo will definitely make life easier for Castro, who has been shouldering a heavy offensive burden before the arrival of Jericho Cruz and now Romeo, who came in a trade with GlobalPort.
“For sure, malaking tulong si Terrence sa amin, alam naman natin kung anong kaya niya gawin,” Castro said. “And then, maganda rin 'yung rotation namin sa guard ngayon kasi lahat may threat na, unlike before, parang nangangapa pa kami kung sino yung mga tinitignan ni coach.”
Castro won’t mind sharing the spotlight with Romeo, even letting the new understudy flaunt his individual brilliance without veering away from coach Nash Racela’s system.
“Alam naman namin na kaya niya [mag-score], why not, ‘di ba? Papabayaan namin siya maglaro, hindi naman namin tinatanggal sa kanya yun,” Castro said. “Pero yun nga, within the system kasi iba yung system dun [GP], iba yung system dito.
“At the same time yung winning culture ng TNT before, kailangan namin ipa-ano sa kanya na dito, may target kami. May lagi kaming goals na kailangan ma-accomplish,” he added.
Good thing, Castro has already seen a willingness from Romeo to blend in with his teammates – thanks to their last stint together with Gilas Pilipinas.
“After nung Gilas namin, nag-mature na talaga siya. Yung maturity niya, makikita mo,” Castro said. “Tsaka yung game ngayon, nag-iisip na. Ngayon he's playing within the system.”
“Sinasabihan ko lang na maglaro lang siya, yung mga minor kami na lang maga-adjust sa kanya,” he added. “Kasi alam namin kung ano yung mga capable niya gawin, at the same time yung mga weakness niya. So more on weakness na lang niya, na sabihan namin kung ano kailangan niya gawin.”