JAYSON Castro shrugged off the extended minutes that he and Roger Pogoy played for TNT KaTropa on Friday night as it resulted in the Texters scoring a hard-earned 107-106 win over Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Texters coach Nash Racela had planned to limit the playing time of Castro and Pogoy, his two Gilas Pilipinas standouts who are part of the national team bound for Lebanon for the Fiba Asia Cup next week.
But with the Texters in the middle of a comeback against the Aces, Castro and Pogoy were forced to see more action than planned and brought TNT home.
The sacrifice paid off as the Texters came back from 14 points down to add to the misery of the Aces with their 12th straight defeat.
“Ganun talaga kasi kailangan naming manalo bago yung long break namin,” Castro said. “So kahit ako, even na pagod na talaga, kailangan ko ipakita na hindi kami mag-gi-give up, especially yung mga veterans. Buti na lang nanalo.”
Castro played a team-high 29 minutes and 24 seconds, enough time for him to register a near-triple double of 23 points, 10 assists, and nine boards, along with two steals.
Pogoy, for his part, caught fire from long range, knocking down seven of his eight triples on the way to firing 25 points – two shy of his career-high – in 38 minutes.
“We wanted to preserve Jayson and Roger for Fiba Asia but I don't know, si Roger ata played the whole second half. I apologize to coach Chot for stretching their minutes,” TNT coach Nash Racela said after the game.
“But of course, we had that in mind but at the same time we wanted to win for the franchise,” he added. “It was hard for us. Buti na lang, the only thing we could guarantee is their timing is there.”