JAYSON Castro took a much-needed rest on Saturday in TNT’s win over Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
TNT coach Nash Racela said Castro respectfully asked that he be allowed to rest for the match against the Elastopainters.
“He needed time to recover,” said Racela. “He talked to me before the game. He was asking for some rest… He is just given time to recover. Hopefully, they will be ready by the next round.”
When asked to elaborate where Castro is recovering from, Racela admitted it is relation to the incident that occurred on Monday during the Fiba World Cup where Castro was involved in the free-for-all brawl.
“They need time to recover. If you think they don’t need time to recover from that then, they could question them. But to me, as a coach, they asked for it. My responsibility is to give it to them. If they say, ‘Coach, I can’t play today,’ then I won’t play you today. That’s my trust,” said Racela.
Castro, after the game, admitted he asked for the rest but he was ready to play if he was called upon.
“Kinausap ko lang din si coach. Ready to play ako pero since nakita ko ‘yung situation na kaya naman and at the same time, the way Rain or Shine played parang relaxed sila. So might as well mag-rest na lang ako para makapagpahinga for the playoffs,” Castro said.
Racela said among the Gilas players in the team, it was Troy Rosario who was actually ready to play.
“He (Troy) was honest enough to say that ‘Coach, I’m with the second group of Gilas, I wasn’t really that tired playing with them.’ He was actually him that I’m more ready than the other three guys. Of course, I just take what they tell me,” said Racela.
Racela said it would have been a different story if Alaska lost to Phoenix on Friday as TNT still has a shot at getting the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“I expect Jayson to play. He will take it upon himself to be available today,” said Racela.
Castro said he is happy with the effort of the team in winning the game without him on the floor with Joshua Smith dominating for TNT.
“Kasi marami nag-step up sa amin especially ‘yung second group namin and si Josh nadominate niya ‘yung paint,” said Castro.