Jayson Castro just shrugged off questions about whether or not they had any extra motivation to beat San Miguel on Sunday.
This was despite running circles around the Beermen and finishing with 24 points, 11 assists and four steals in what looked like a grudge match of sorts.
“Syempre defending champion, at the same time kailangan namin manalo talaga and once matalo kami, dun na naman kami sa pinakababa. Kailangan lang talagang manalo,” Castro said after the game.
“Maganda para sa’min to, and at the same time confidence namin tumaas kasi mahirap talunin defending champion.”
That matchup was the first since Terrence Romeo was traded to San Miguel in the offseason following what was a tumultuous one-year tenure with the KaTropa.
The Beermen, however, played without the mercurial gunner, who was still recovering from a sprained ankle he suffered in the season opener.
Castro instead opted to focus on TNT’s on-point execution, lauding a stingy defense that forced SMB to just two bench points and a smooth offense that gave up only six turnovers for the night.
“Siguro kaya nanalo kami this game kasi tumatama mga outside shots namin, and at the same time minu-move namin bola, hinahanap namin wide open shot talaga. ‘Di kagaya before puro forced shots tinitira namin,” he explained.
“More on defense kami and tinake away ibang option nila, which is naging effective naman sa’min. And then yun yung offense namin na-run namin nang mabuti, which is ‘di namin ma-run in the first few games,” Castro added.
For ‘The Blur’, the win was also both a confidence booster and a sign that they’re slowly seeing the results of a new offensive system designed to give everyone more touches.
“‘Yun ang pinapractice namin almost every day, ‘yung offense namin which is parang equal opportunity sa lahat. Kung sino open talaga. Walang designated sino tityra, kung kanino mapunta, talagang titira with confidence,” Castro said.
“Magandang senyales ‘to sa’min kasi nakikita na namin gusto namin mangyari.”
(Photo credit: PBA Images)