AS if the rousing comeback win over Barangay Ginebra last week was not enough, more good news is coming the way of TNT Katropa.
Top gun Jayson Castro is poised to play his first game with the Tropang Texters on Friday when they go up against unbeaten league-leader Blackwater in the curtain raiser of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 30-year-old guard skipped the team’s first two games of the conference for a well-deserved break after playing non-stop basketball for Gilas Pilipinas and TNT over the past couple of years.
But he’s been constantly practicing with the team shortly after the all-Filipino conference started, making himself fit and ready for the 4:15 p.m. game against Mac Belo and the Elite.
“Continuous naman ang practice niya sa team kahit hindi siya naglalaro, kaya kundisyon si Jayson,” said team manager Virgil Villavicencio.
Castro suiting up for the Texters for the first time couldn’t have come at a perfect time as the team is coming off a 108-103 win over the Kings Sunday night in a game that saw them battle back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth period.
"We needed that win dahil hindi biro (kalaban) ang Blackwater,” Villavicencio added.
The veteran guard from Bacolor, Pampanga has been activated by the team on Thursday in lieu of Alex Nuyles.
Top deputy Josh Reyes, however, will continue to call the shots for the team despite Nash Racela already available to coach the team following the ouster of the FEU Tamaraws in the race for a finals berth in Season 79 of the UAAP.
“It was Josh who prepared the game plan for the week, so ayaw naman naming mabulabog,” Villavicencio said. “But Nash will be there, just like in our two previous games.”