JAYSON Castro remains in high spirits even after TNT KaTropa lost to lower seed Rain or Shine, 106-102, in their PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday night.
After all, the twice-to-beat Texters are carrying some momentum heading into the sudden death after they finished the game on backbreaking 20-4 salvo after staring at a 20-point deficit midway through the payoff period.
“Sayang yung effort namin, pero positive pa rin sa amin yung going into the knockout game,” Castro said. “Sana madala namin yung momentum na yun, kasi within six minutes, nahabol namin yung lamang nilang ganun.”
“Sana ganun din yung aggressiveness namin from the start, kasi nag-start kami sobrang flat,” he added after finishing with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting, six assists, five boards, and two steals.
The second-seeded Texters actually opened up with a two-point lead after the first quarter and were down by just five points at the half, before allowing the Elasto Painters to go on a surge bridging the last two quarters.
Castro then facilitated the Texters’ last stand, knocking down a triple that nudged them to within six points, 98-104, before Glen Rice Jr. pulled them closer.
Still, the Texters fell short as the E-Painters thus sustained their mastery of TNT this conference after beating them in the eliminations, 105-73.
But that makes Castro unperturbed heading into the do-or-die game on Friday night at the Big Dome.
“Confident kami na kaya namin sila, kasi kung makita niyo yung game, up kami by six and then hindi lang naman kaya i-push ng hanggang ganun eh,” Castro said. “May mga possession na wide-open naman at tsaka yung mga looks namin, yung mga gusto naming tira, nandun naman, kaso hindi lang namin nasho-shoot.”
“And then nag-click lang yung outside shot nila, especially yung import nila, so we need to find a way para ma-limit yung import nila,” he added of J’Nathan Bullock, who hit seven of the E-Painters’ 16 treys.
While Bullock was on target, TNT counterpart Rice was held to just 19 points on 8-of-28 shooting.
But don’t expect Rice to have back-to-back off nights – if you ask Castro.
“ For sure, si Glen maglalaro ng maganda sa next game,” The Blur said.