COMBO guard Jayson Castro hopes to make his much-awaited return to Talk ‘N Text next Tuesday when the Tropang Texters collide with sister team NLEX Road Warriors at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The diminutive Castro has missed the first three games of the Tropang Texters owing to a swollen right Achilles heel which he hurt during a gruelling Commissioner’s Cup championship series against Rain or Shine that took two overtimes in Game Seven to decide.
The 28-year-old Castro finally participated in the five-on-five drills for the first time on Thursday, raising hopes that the cat-quick guard will be back in action by next week.
“Kanina pa lang ako nag-first full practice sa five-on-five sa team. So far okay naman, though siguro kailangan ko lang makuha yung hangin ko kasi kulang pa,” Castro told Spin.ph.
Castro is coming off a hot-shooting Finals stint in the Commissioner’s Cup, which saw the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay register personal PBA career-highs in points and three-pointers made.
The 5-foot-9 guard out of Philippine Christian University registered a new personal career-best 44 points in Game Two, where he converted a new PBA Finals record nine three-point shots.
The nine three-pointers were a PBA Finals record for a local and the fourth all-time most three-point shots made by a local in a game, according to league head statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
The soft-spoken Castro, however, refused to dwell on his past successes, saying the current Governors Cup is an entirely new challenge for him and the Tropang Texters.
No wonder that since he started running and joining shootarounds last week, Castro said he has been picking the brain of Jordanian import Sam Daghles owing to his vast international experience.
“Tinuturuan niya (Daghles) ako bumasa sa sitwasyon, saka tinuturuan niya rin ako ng mga tricks niya,” said Castro, voted as one of Asia’s top guards during the 2013 Fiba-Asia showpiece in Manila.
“Happy naman ako kasi marami akong natututunan sa kanya kasi veteran point guard na siya” he added.
Castro, who earned his third Best Player of the Conference award in the Commissioner’s Cup, is averaging 18.0 points, 5.1 assists and 4.2 assists this season - all career-high numbers.