JAYSON Castro insisted he merely let his instincts take over in a dazzling endgame explosion that carried Talk ‘N Text to a 79-66 win over Purefoods on Saturday and into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The Tropang Texters star guard scattered 13 of his career high-tying 33 points in the final period where his team outscored the Hotshots, 34-18, to finish off the best-of-five series in four games.
“Yung mga last minutes ng ballgame, sakto lang na napupunta sa akin yung bola … so na-hi-hit ko lang yung mga three-point shots ko,” said Castro, who buried three of his seven treys in the fourth quarter.
It was a fitting encore for the Gilas Pilipinas standout after he pumped in nine three-pointers on the way to scoring 27 points on top of 10 assists, three rebounds, and three steals in Game Three.
“Binabasa ko lang yung sitwasyon, kasi as a point guard, kailangan mong hanapin yung mga weakness ng kabilang team,” explained Castro, who also had five boards, four assists, two steals in 39 minutes. “So every situation, iniisip ko lang kung sino yung mahinang dumepensa and then to create for my teammates kasi naka-spread sila.
“Pero pag sabi ni coach, kaya ko all the way, all the way ako,” he admitted. “I try to score kasi pag hindi naman ako umiiskor, parang wala akong value sa court.”
Marc Pingris, Purefoods’ defensive stalwart who was one of those who shadowed Castro, said Castro's vastly improved touch from the outside made him tough to stop.
“Dati nang magaling pero mas na-improve talaga niya ang three-point shooting niya ngayon,” he explained. “Last two years, talagang pinapabayaan lang namin tumira sa labas, pero ngayon hindi mo na pwede hayaan.”
Whether it was from the outside or inside, the Hotshots just picked their poison against Castro.
“Kahit big man man o small man (ang bumabantay sa kanya), talagang umaatake siya,” Pingris said.