FIT-AGAIN Jayson Castro picked up from where he left off as he gave Talk ‘N Text a big lift in its 108-89 win over NLEX in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Tuesday night.
Expected to be rusty in his first game in nearly a month after being sidelined by a swollen right Achilles he sustained in their run to the Commissioner’s Cup championship, the Tropang Texters superstar hardly showed the effects of the injury as he put up a familiar all-around, efficient performance.
'The Blur' registered 19 points built around five three-pointers, five assists, five boards, and one assist in 28 minutes off the bench.
“Sabi ni coach na hanapin ko agad yung rhythm ko once nakuha ko yung bola,” Castro said.
But the three-time Best Player of the Conference played down his solid showing, saying he still has some catching up to do in terms of jelling with imports Sam Daghles and Steffphon Pettigrew.
“Hindi naman (ganun kadali yung pagbalik ko), pero konting adjustment pa kasi first time ko makalaro si Sam tsaka si Steff.”
Texters coach Jong Uichico he had intended to use Castro sparingly.
“Never in my mind na I’ll play him that many minutes because he wasn’t practicing talaga eh, shooting lang tsaka konting five-on-five, so I didn’t know kung he was in shape or in basketball rhythm.
“But of course, we had to try him sooner or later, kasi after nito, sunod-sunod na ang games namin,” he added.
The multi-titled mentor quickly found his answer as Castro wasted little time in marking his return by tallying 13 points in 13 minutes in the first half.
“He played very well,” Uichico said.
Once he gets back to 100 percent, Castro said he won't mind seeing action below his usual playing time after averaging 34.5 minutes last conference.
“Pag dating ng playoffs, fresh kami, hindi kagaya dati pag dating ng finals, bugbog na kami,” said Castro, who played behind Daghles. “At least ngayon, pantay-pantay yung minutes namin.”
“Maganda kasi ngayon may kapalitan ako at pwede akong mag-two position, kasi before puro point guard lang and then nakaka-rest na ako ngayon,” Castro added of the Jordanian playmaker. “Hindi lang ako yung puro tumatawag ng plays.”