Castro ready to lead TNT’s title drive after long offseason rest

Cat-quick guard Jayson Castro played with renewed vigor in his first game with TNT for the new PBA season.

Back in harness since being given an extended rest by TNT coaches, Castro reverted to his scoring ways, firing 20 points to help the Katropa turn back a pesky Blackwater side, 99-92 in their PBA Philippine Cup match Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Castro confessed he did not touch the basketball until he first joined the team’s practice a week ago.

“Yung offseason, pahinga talaga, wala akong ginawa. Kain, tulog, walang bola talaga,” stressed the two-time Best Point Guard in Asia, who missed TNT’s first two games this season.

His rest, as Castro explained, was a way to rest his battered legs and body owing to playing non-stop basketball since suiting up for Gilas in 2013.

“It’s unlike before na kahit offseason, nag-extra workout pa rin ako. Ngayon, wala munang basketball para pagbalik ko, excited ako ulit,” added the 30-year-old TNT combo guard, who also dished out five assists.

Castro thanked coaches and management for granting his request for an extended rest, even as his teammates played their hearts out during his 2-game absence.

“Sobrang na-appreciate ko yun kasi kahit nagpapahinga ako, ginagawa nila yung best nila,’” he said with a smile.

But now that he’s back in action, Castro vowed to give everything he has and hopefully, push the Katropa back to the Finals under new head coach Nash Racela.

“Siguro excited lang ako maglaro kasi na-miss ko talaga yung basketball, ang tagal kong hindi naglaro,” he said.  Jason Mercene

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