Rebuilding Talk 'N Text still a 'top three' contender this season, says Jayson Castro
Jayson Castro is confident Talk 'N Text can get back on top after a fruitless Season 39. Jerome Ascano

THOUGH Talk ’N Text is still in the initial phase of its rebuilding process, veteran guard Jason Castro is convinced the Tropang Texters are still among the top three title contenders in the upcoming PBA 40th season set to start this October 19.

Despite the team ending up empty-handed for the first time in 2009, the diminutive Talk ’N Text guard said their 33-16 win-loss record overall last season is proof enough that the Texters are still capable of vying for top honors.

“Nandun pa rin kami (top three) kasi even though di kami naka championship last year, kami pa rin ang may pinakamaraming panalo,” Castro told after the team’s practice on Wednesday at the Moro Lorenzo gym.

The Tropang Texters failed to defend their Philippine Cup title last season, losing to eventual grand slam champion San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in the quarterfinals.

Talk ’N Text then placed second in the Commissioner’s Cup before winding up third in the Governors Cup.

Castro, a 5-foot-7 guard out of Philippine Christian University, added that last year’s fruitless campaign gave them the extra motivation to prepare hard this offseason.

“This time, lahat ng mga players motivated. Iyun lang ang season na wala kaming championship so this time, gusto naming mag-champion uli,” added the player nicknamed 'The Blur.'

Castro joined the team’s practice on Monday after focusing on strengthening his left knee the past week. He sustained a left knee contusion while playing for Gilas Pilipinas in its loss to Puerto Rico during last month’s Fiba World Cup group stage.

TNT playmaker Jimmy Alapag is also expected to miss the start of the season as he takes a break following Gilas' stint in Fiba and the Asiad.

And though Talk ’N Text will be handled by Jong Uichico starting this season after Norman Black was moved to Meralco, Castro doesn’t see any major hitch at all.

“Siguro first few games, di pa ganun (ka-fluid) ang offense namin, pero alam namin ano gusto niya (Uichico) mangyari, saka yung sistema na gusto niya gawin namin,” explained Castro, a two-time PBA Best Player of the Conference awardee.

“Basta kailangang gawin namin ang trabaho namin sa practice and we’ll be okay,” he added.

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