GOOD thing Nico Elorde is as fit as a boxer vying for a world title, allowing him to keep in step with Jayson Castro Castro in their PBA Philippine Cup match up on Wednesday night.
Castro apparently brought the best out of Elorde, who scored a career-high 17 points in showing the way for the Batang Pier in a 99-84 rout of TnT Katropa at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The pesky guard from the celebrated Elorde clan capped his career game by going 5-of-7 from the field, and added seven rebounds and seven assists while doing the unenviable task of taking on Castro at the defensive end.
It wasn’t easy keeping pace with ‘The Blur’ according to Elorde despite the win that put Globalport back at the .500 mark for a 4-4 record and on track to earning a spot in the playoffs.
“Siyempre mahirap, Jayson Castro yun, siya yung best point guard of Asia,” said the 26-year-old guard out of Ateneo.
“Respeto lang and binigay ko lang yung best ko,” added Elorde. “I look forward lagi na makalaban siya.”
Castro still finished with a team-high 24 points (9-of-18), but was somehow bothered by Elorde’s defense that at one point of the game, he ‘accidentally’ threw the ball on the Globalport guard.
Elorde though, downplayed the incident.
“Laro lang naman. Ma-pressure lang talaga ako. Ganyan lang talaga ang basketball,” said Elorde of coach Pido Jarencio’s game plan to apply pressure on Castro throughout the game.
More than his career best, Elorde, an unrestricted free agent picked up by Globalport during the offseason from KIA, was satisfied at getting the win.
“Kailangan talaga namin itong win para makapasok kami sa playoffs,” he said. “At least naibalik ko yung tiwala na ibinibigay sa akin ni coach Pido.”