Jayson Castro respectfully declined to comment regarding the TNT KaTropa’s shocking move during the Yuletide season of 2018, which saw the team ship away the flashy Terrence Romeo due to a reported falling-out.
The flagship MVP franchise’s main man held his hands up without saying a word to reporters after the KaTropa’s practice session, Monday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside the Ateneo campus in Katipunan, Quezon City.
Instead, Castro chose to talk about the new PBA season, which will open on Sunday, January 13, at the Philippine Arena.
“Kung mapapansin niyo ang daming new guys sa amin, at the same time, even sa coaching staff.
“Hopefully, ito na yung tamang formula at makapasok ulit [kami] sa playoffs at maging contender ulit,” said the 32-year-old point guard.
Romeo’s absence will be a tough blow for TNT, especially for its offense. That, however, doesn’t mean that Castro will return to strapping the team on his back, as he sees a lot of potential scorers in this current roster.
The KaTropa will feature new faces this upcoming season in Brian Heruela and David Semerad – both of whom TNT got from the Romeo trade with the San Miguel Beermen – and sweet-shooting big man Michael Miranda from NLEX.
“Yung offense na nirarun namin, equal opportunity para sa lahat. Hindi lang ako at ibang mga beterano. Kailangan nming iinvolve ang mga new guys dahil ang dami naming mga potential na scorers,” said Castro.
“Kayang umiskor like Roger [Pogoy], [Don ]Trollano, yung mga bago … At sobrang naa-adapt na nila yung culture at yung system ni coach Mark. For us to makapunta sa dating kami, dapat lahat kami, ‘di lang ako,” he added.
Given all the changes that the KaTropa have undergone this off-season, Castro is positive that his team will fare well in the new season – especially in the 2019 Philippine Cup, which TNT will open opposite the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
“I think yung lineup namin ngayon, confident naman ako na okay kami. Siguro yung target namin na semis, doon muna kami.”