WITH TNT KaTropa down big after a horrendous first half, head coach Nash Racela challenged Jayson Castro to lead his younger teammates by example.
The longtime Gilas star responded as usual.
Castro provided both the leadership and the inspiration as TNT KaTropa overhauled a 29-point, third-quarter deficit and pull off a 126-122 overtime win over sister team NLEX in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
'The Blur' anchored the KaTropa comeback, scattering 11 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter. He also added 11 assists and two steals in the biggest comeback in franchise history.
"Sabi ni coach, 'Maging example ka sa kanila, wag mo ipakita na nag-gigive up ka na.' Siyempre as a veteran, kailangan ipakita ko yun para maging example siya," Castro said.
"Magiging lesson sa amin to. Para pag dating sa mga games na alam namin kaya namin talunin, hindi na kami magre-relax. Pero give credit din sa NLEX, ganda ng first half nila," Castro added.
Giving up a total of 76 points to NLEX in just two quarters, Castro admitted he felt overwhelmed by the deficit.
"Parang may mga past na comeback, ito yung sobrang laki talaga. Pag-start nung third quarter, pag tingin namin sa score, sobrang laki talaga," Castro continued.
"Yun din yung pinoint out ko na wag nalang tignan yung score, basta gawin namin trabaho namin at i-practice namin yung good habits namin."
Castro now hopes the close call can serve as a lesson learned for the Texters.
"May mga times na nakaka-shoot ng tough shots yung NLEX, na-down kami. Dapat missed or made, ganun parin ang intensity namin," he said. '"Alam naman ang kakayahan namin, e."