ANTIPOLO - It doesn’t take much to fire up Jayson Castro.
The TNT Katropa superstar drew motivation for his offensive outburst against Phoenix in their PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals matchup from his desire to bring the Texters back to the semifinals after a rare prolonged absence.
Castro pumped in 42 points in just 27 minutes to lead the Texters to a 136-124 win that enabled them to make their first Final Four appearance this season - and just the first in four conferences.
“Gusto ko lang maging aggressive para makita ng teammates ko kasi opportunity na sa amin ‘to para makabalik kami ng semis,” the prolific playmaker said. “Yun yung nafe-feel ko na kailangan ko magpakita sa teammates ko especially sa offense.”
The last time the Texters were in the semis, they made it all the way to the championship of last year's Commissioner's Cup.
Castro dropped all but two of his total output in the first three quarters to score the most points by a local in the same stretch since Allan Caidic erupted for 63 in the first three quarters for Presto in 1991 in the same game where the Tirggerman fired the most points by a local at 79.
The Gilas Pilipians star said he just pounced on the Phoenix defense that picked the poison of letting him shoot from the outside rather than allow him to drive to the basket.
“Yung defense nung Phoenix, uma-under sila (sa screen), so mga wide open naman mga shots ko,” the 5-foot-10 point guard said, adding team chemistry enabled him to have his offensive onslaught that came two points shy of his career high.
“Lahat naman ng game tine-treat na namin na talagang game,” Castro said. “Maganda lang talaga yung chemistry ng team namin this conference. Sana magtuloy-tuloy hanggang finals.”