Jayson Castro hasn’t exactly been his usual dominant self on offense in his last two games for TNT in the PBA Philippine Cup.
After propelling the KaTropa past Rain or Shine with a near triple-double effort (20 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds) last March 3, ‘The Blur’ posted his second straight scoring dud on Friday and finished with just eight points in their win over Alaska.
All of those points came from the line as Castro missed all three of his attempts from the field.
Last Saturday against Blackwater, Castro was silent as well and finished with just two points and seven dimes.
Team consultant Mark Dickel, however, dispelled any notions of a ‘cold streak’ and thought Castro has been superb in both games.
“I thought he was unbelievable tonight again. Leading the guys, playing D, passing the ball… I mean if he’s not embracing the team past this, no one is. So he’s kinda setting the tone,” Dickel observed.
A small piece of data backs up Dickel’s claim: Castro was a plus-13 in 28 minutes on the floor—second only to Roger Pogoy, who was a plus-14 and finished with a game-high 24 points.
There hasn’t been any need for him to take over, too, with both blowout wins having been powered by an offense that’s involved everyone from top to bottom.
This just gives Dickel and the KaTropa less reasons to sound the alarm.
“Nah, not at all. He’s a true playmaker, he takes what the defense gives him. I mean everybody’s doubling him every on-ball possession. They show hard on every screen so he just makes the right play,” he explained.
“And sometimes as a playmaker, the right play is you scoring four or six. But if they go back to leaving him open, he’s gonna go back to scoring 25 or 30 again. He’ll get back to playing more aggressive like that,” Dickel added.
A Castro explosion in their last two games and in the playoffs is still possible, of course. But if TNT continues to play at this level of cohesion, there might be no need for him to do just that.