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    How TNT was able to draft Jayson Castro after rare 2008 trade with SMB

    Chot recalls draft-day trade that led 'The Blur' to TNT
    Oct 17, 2022
    chot reyes, jayson castro, jaywash, jay washington

    TNT coach Chot Reyes stood witness as Jayson Castro signed a contract extension with the PBA ballclub that runs through 2025, all but guaranteeing that the 'Blur' will end his career with the Tropang Giga.

    None of that would've been possible, of course, if not for the 2008 trade executed by TNT during Reyes' first run as head coach that enabled the flagship team of the MVP group to acquire Castro with the No. 3 selection in the PBA draft.

    [READ: Jayson Castro signed to fresh TNT deal through 2025]

    Already the owner of the second and fourth picks in that draft, the then Phone Pals still went after the No. 3 selection overall, which they were able to secure via a rare trade with corporate and basketball rival San Miguel.

    In doing so, however, Talk ‘N Text had to give up Jay Washington, who prior to the draft was averaging 12.6 points and 7.4 rebounds the past season for the ballclub.


    Back then, Castro was one of the best amateur players in the land, having won MVP honors with Harbour Centre in the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League. The former Philippine Christian University star also delivered two titles to the Batang Pier.

    Jayson Castro

    After Rain or Shine picked Gabe Norwood at No. 1 and TNT selected Jared Dillinger at No. 2, the Phone Pals went after Castro.

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    “We had to give up a lot,” Reyes said. “If you remember, we had to give up perhaps our best individual player to get into the position to draft Jayson. We are very, very fortunate that we made the right decision.”

    [READ: How Jayson Castro evaded recruitment by top college teams]

    Reyes said Castro's championships in the PBL were one of the reasons why they had to go seek for another first-round pick.

    "He was a winner. There was an intangible ‘X’ factor that I could sense whenever I watched him," Reyes said.

    The result of the draft trade was nine championships for the TNT franchise with Castro also earning other individual distinctions including being a five-time PBA Best Player of the Conference.


      Reyes said management decided to give him an extension this early to show their appreciation to Castro.

      “I drafted him, watched him sign his first contract, and I don’t know if I just saw him sign his last contract. But by 2025, that would have been his 17th year. Bagay na bagay sa jersey number niya. 17 for No. 17,” said Reyes.


      Reyes said the value of Castro is almost immeasurable especially off the court, which truly puts ‘The Blur’ in a league of his own.

      Jayson Castro contract

      “More than anything, having players like Jayson made me a better coach because he is an absolute joy to coach. Never had any problems, attitude-wise. He is always there. He is always showing up. He always give his best,” Reyes said.


      “We see how good he is in games on the court, but you don’t see how special he is off the court in practice. That’s where you really separate the greats from the best,” said Reyes.

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