Awkward moment as Jayson Castro sees mentor Jimmy Alapag turn into a rival
Jimmy Alapag had been Jayson Castro's mentor since the former PCU Dolphin broke into the PBA back in 2008. Jerome Ascano

JAYSON Castro feels weird now that he and Jimmy Alapag are on opposite sides.

With his longtime teammate and acknowledged mentor set to make a PBA comeback with Meralco in the coming new season, the Talk ‘N Text star will be opponents with Alapag for the first time since they became teammates in 2008.

“Parang awkward para sa akin, ‘di ako sanay na magkalaban kami,” the seven-year league veteran said. “Buong career ko  siya yung nagtuturo sa akin.”

Castro initially thought April Fools’ came late until he learned Alapag’s comeback bid was true on Friday when the former league MVP was sent to the Bolts in a suprising three-team trade.

“Before, akala ko joke lang. Ngayon, magkakalaban na talaga kami sa laro,” Castro said. “Hindi lang talaga ako sanay.”

[See Asi Taualava on Alapag comeback: 'I was hoping he would join me at NLEX']

Ranidel de Ocampo, another former teammate, understands the move of Alapag to Meralco, where the former Gilas Pilipinas skipper can fill the Bolts’ gaping hole in the backcourt.

“Kung nalipat man sya ng team, siguro may dahilan sya,” the TNT star said. “Siguro gusto niya rin masubukan yung iba.”

“Si Michael Jordan nga sumubok sa ibang team eh,” De Ocampo added, referring to the acknowledged greatest player of all time moonlighting for the Washington Wizards after playing his entire career with the Chicago Bulls.

“Gusto ko sya i-wish ng good luck at pasalamatan sa mga championship na pinagsamahan namin,” he continued. “Ngayon, magkaiba na kami ng team, sana best of luck sa kanya.”

At least, they’re all still teammates at Gilas, which is preparing for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship next month.

Alapag flew in from Japan on Saturday morning then immediately returned to practice in the afternoon.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos