Jayson Castro allayed fears of a serious injury after getting shaken up late in TNT’s 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal opener versus sister team Meralco, Sunday evening.
The 33-year-old inadvertently sustained a hit to the shoulder from Bolts bruiser Cliff Hodge at the 5:09-mark of the final frame while he tried to score off a lay-up. It took some time for Castro to get back on his feet.
Castro still managed to split his free throws afterward, and remained on the court until subbed out with only 1:03 remaining, with the game already decided.
“Yun, medyo okay na. Pina-stretch ko lang. Ganoon talaga,” said Castro, who flirted with a triple-double in their 103-94 victory as he finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.
Aside from the near-triple-double outing, Castro also collected four steals and a block. According to the decorated floor general, the KaTropa put a premium on defense in battling the Bolts.
And that showed in the stat sheet. Prior to Sunday’s contest, Meralco was averaging 21.8 assists per game. But they only had 12 dimes in the defeat and committed 24 turnovers. The Texters then converted those errors into 25 easy points.
“Lahat kami, naka-focus sa defense. Sobrang ‘yung buong break namin, ‘yun lang pinractice namin kung pa’no sila mai-stop,” shared Castro. “Hopefully, sunud-sunod na.
“Alam namin na mag[ig]ing aggressive sila, so kailangan namin maging smart kung paano sila mai-stop.”