JAYSON Castro displayed the same commitment he showed for Gilas Pilipinas in his return to TNT KaTropa on Wednesday when he suited up hurt in the team’s 110-103 win over Phoenix in the Governors’ Cup.
Nursing a bruised knee he sustained in the national team’s last game in the Fiba Asia Cup against Jordan, the Texters superstar arrived on Tuesday and was excused from TNT’s practices on Wednesday and Thursday to rest his injury.
Castro, though, was present in practice on Thursday on the eve of the match against the Fuel Masters and told coach Nash Racela he would be ready on game-day to help the Texters get back on the winning track.
“Coach, kung kailangan niyo ako, okay ako,” TNT manager Virgil Villavicencio recalled Castro telling Racela at the end of practice.
Still, Racela wanted Castro to rest as he sat 'The Blur' the entire first half, but was forced to insert him in the second half after seeing the Texters trail, 49-46, at the half.
“Parang wala na (injury), but again, as a coach, you would always want to give them rest hangga’t kaya mo ibigay,” Racela said. “It was a game-time decision for us. Actually it was a halftime decision for us.”
After entering at the 8:05 mark of the third quarter, Castro delivered as usual in running the offense as he finished with 11 points, three boards, and one assist in 19 minutes.
Racela was no longer surprised by his star guard's commitment.
“This team is about making sacrifices,” Racela said. “They’ve done their part for the national cause, but ngayon, nag-sakirispsiyo naman sila para sa amin.”