As Jayson Castro gets ready for another Gilas call-up, TNT strives to 'learn to play without him'
Jayson Castro is set to be called up to the Gilas 5.0 side for the Seaba Championship. Jerome Ascano

ANTIPOLO – Jayson Castro feels it’s his ball distribution – more than his offensive capability – that TNT KaTropa needs this early in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The Texters superstar made a conscious effort to get his teammates involved as he dished out 14 assists along with scoring 14 points on just seven attempts in the team’s 134-109 win over Phoenix on Sunday.

That eight Texters scored in double figures.

“Yun lang naman kailangan namin eh kasi marami naman kaming scorers and at the same time shooters, so kailangan ko talaga i-involve every game para lumuwag rin yung defense sa akin,” Castro said after his team dished out 38 assists as a unit. “Kapag maganda yung outside shot namin talaga yung offense okay eh.”

Maybe Castro being less aggressive on offense is also his way of helping his teammates get used to being without him and his offensive prowess ahead of his potential Gilas Pilipinas stint.

“The goal for us is to learn to be without him,” TNT coach Nash Racela said of Castro, who added three boards, two blocks, and just one turnover in 22 minutes in his return from injury.

[See Nothing but admiration, gratitude from TNT as Amundson goes out on a high]

Once they release him for the national duty, the Texters are set to rely heavily on incoming import Donte Greene, who, Castro believes, can quickly adapt to the team’s system.

“Nag-practice na siya pero more on drills lang tsaka konting five-on-five, ‘di pa as in sa full practice talaga, pero okay naman,” Castro said of Amundson’s replacement.

“This time naman may time pa kami mag-prepare tsaka i-introduce yung offense sa kanya. Pero like Lou (Amundson), ex-NBA player eh, kaya naman nilang mag-adjust.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos