Gilas Pilipinas will head into the 2019 FIBA World Cup without one of its leaders in Jayson Castro.
The two-time all-FIBA Asia team member himself confirmed the development – unfortunate for Gilas – saying that he would want to give more time to his family.
“I want to focus muna sa family ko,” Castro said on Friday after the TNT KaTropa beat Columbian in PBA Commissioner’s Cup action.
The 32-year-old floor general just got married this past weekend, an event he delayed several times before because of his duties with the national team.
“Almost seven years na ako na non-stop basketball sa Gilas. Sobrang dine-dicate ko yung sarili ko doon. As in yung brain ko nasa Gilas,” recalled Castro, a two-time All-FIBA Asia team member.
Castro said that he has talked to Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas regarding his situation. And he is thankful that they understood where he’s coming from.
“Nagkausap na kami ni coach Yeng about that, and even yung SBP, [as well as] yung coaching staff. Alam naman nila yung situation ko,” said Castro.
“Naiintindihan naman nila.”
Castro’s absence is definitely a big blow to Gilas, since the 5-foot-11 guard posted per-game averaged 14.5 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.5 rebounds in eight games in the World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Castro said it is time to surrender his spot to the young ones. And he is not concerned with who will fill the void, since he believes they are all ready.
“It’s time to give it to the young guys, tsaka nakita ko naman na ready na sila.”
Castro had initially retired from international play back in 2016, after the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. But he returned shortly after when Chot Reyes came back as Gilas’ head coach.
Now, have we seen the last of Castro on the international stage?