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Basketball

Jayson Castro the Facilitator steps up for TNT in semis-clinching win

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Jayson Castro the Facilitator steps up for TNT in semis-clinching win Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa PBA Season 42 Jayson Castro Glen Rice Jr. 2017 PBA Governors Cup

When Jayson Castro the Scorer isn’t connecting, the nine-year veteran can quickly switch his role to the Facilitator.

That is exactly what happened on Friday night, when The Blur and the TNT Katropa downed the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 116-114, for the last semifinal slot of the 2017 Governor’s Cup at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Castro shot just 3-of-12 from the floor, but he still managed to finish with 20 points. Obviously a bad shooting night, he then returned to playing the point, and he did it with so much ease that he ended up with a game-high 12 assists.

“May mga game naman na ganun talaga,” said the 31-year-old of his sour shooting, moments after the hard-fought victory. “So nag-focus na lang ako paano ko sila i-involve sa opensa.

“Yung scoring di naman problem sa’min.”

His off-night was highlighted by an airball he committed in the game’s final seconds, when the match was all tied up at 114. Luckily for him, import Glen Rice, Jr. was there underneath the rim and put back the shot to win it for TNT.

Rice, Jr. even made light of the said airball after the match, saying that it was “definitely a pass” from Castro.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Jayson Castro the Facilitator steps up for TNT in semis-clinching win Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa PBA Season 42 Jayson Castro Glen Rice Jr. 2017 PBA Governors Cup

“Tira talaga yun,” Castro confirmed with a smile. “Pero sinabihan ko siya na just in case, na whatever happens, get the offensive rebound kasi may natitira pa na [oras] eh.

“Ayun nga, sakto pumunta siya dun. Nasaktuhan lang talaga.”

Friday night was a fitting time for the flagship MVP franchise to celebrate the win. But that merry-making will not last long, though, as they are about to face defending champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in a best-of-five affair in the semis.

But Castro is excited with the challenge of locking horns with the crowd darlings, whom they also faced — and have taken down in four games — in the semifinal stage of the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.

“Alam naman natin Ginebra tough team, defending champion. Sana maging magandang series,” he hoped.

“At the same time, excited din ako kasi alam naman natin yung Ginebra, macha-challenge ka talaga paano sila talunin.”

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