TNT coach's vision clear to Jayson Castro as he thrives in off-the-bench role
TNT star Jayson Castro is treated for a scratch near the right eye after he was accidentally poked by Alaska guard Chris Banchero. Jaime Campos

WHETHER he starts or comes off the bench, Jayson Castro delivers the same impressive numbers.

The TNT Katropa superstar proved it once again on Friday night when he put up starter-like numbers as a bench player that factored in the team’s 109-100 win over Alaska in their PBA Philippine Cup encounter.

In his fourth straight game coming off the bench, Castro registered 16 markers (3-of-8 shooting from the field, 8-of-8 from the foul line), along with six assists, two boards, and one block in 26 minutes.

The Gilas Pilipinas standout is fitting into a familiar role, having been Jimmy Alapag’s backup early in his career under coach Chot Reyes.

“Okay naman, kasi kung maalala niyo before kay Coach Chot off the bench naman ako,” Castro said. “Sanay ako dun tsaka kumportable ako especially si Coach Nash alam niya naman yung kaya kong ibigay sa team.”

[See Rosario, Fonacier catch fire as TNT ends Alaska's three-game win streak]

Despite playing less minutes, his numbers coming into the game against the Aces were impressive enough - 20.3 points, two triples, 5.3 assists, and three boards, in just 25.6 minutes.

“Desisyon naman nila yun so ako naman either off the bench or starter ako,” Castro said. “Wala naman problema sakin, di big deal sakin as long as nanalo kami.”

Castro, though, came out the game with an unintentional scratch from Chris Banchero near his right eye.

“Tinatry niyang sundutin yung bola and then mata yung natamaan, pero accidental naman di naman niya sinasadya,” Castro recalled.

Nevertheless, the Texters are entering the Christmas break on a high note with a two-game winning streak.

“Mag-relax kasama mga relatives ko,” Castro said, baring his plan to go home to Pampanga for the holiday season. “Chill lang.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos