Jayson Castro was far from his usual self during the previous two outings of TNT Tropang Giga in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
The 35-year-old only finished with one point in their streak-ending 67-83 defeat to long-time rivals San Miguel Beer. He then went scoreless two days later in a 100-85 bounce-back victory over sister team NLEX.
Prior to that dry spell, the five-time BPC was averaging 13.0 points. He played a key role in his side’s blazing 6-0 start into the conference.
Castro isn’t sweating the struggle, though. Instead, he’s confident that the other Texters are more than willing – and capable – of picking up the slack.
“Kung makikita ‘yung lineup namin, especially sa guard position, lahat naman pwede mag-start. Lahat pwede mag-off the bench,” he said.
“‘Yun ‘yung kagandahan sa team namin ngayon – na willing mag-sacrifice lahat para sa ikagaganda ng game,” he added.
“Basta manalo kami lahat naman kami masaya eh. ‘Yun ‘yung number one na maganda sa team namin.”
One of those greatly helping TNT is fourth overall pick Mikey Williams, who has turned heads with his fine play.
After being limited to just seven points versus SMB, the Fil-Am guard erupted for a tournament-high 36 points in their drubbing of the Road Warriors.
The former NBA G-League veteran continued his outburst Sunday, finishing with 27 points. Meanwhile, the Tropa beat reigning champions Barangay Ginebra, 88-67, in a rematch of last year’s Philippine Cup bubble finals.
Castro has nothing but praises for Williams, saying that it has been such a relief for him and his team to have the 29-year-old on their side.
“Since day one naman, alam namin kung ano ‘yung kaya niyang ibigay sa team,” he said. “At the same time, sobrang maganda lang sa kanya, ‘yung attitude niya – kung paano siya makipag-bonding sa’min.
“Sa practice, makikita mo talaga sa kanya na kayang-kaya niya mag-contribute ng malaki. Especially para sa akin, malaking tulong yun at sa mga guards – especially sa buong team.”