After 12 years of serving the country, Jayson Castro might have decided to retire from international competitions.
And in his return, Kiefer Ravena – the young guard tasked to fill Castro’s shoes – made sure to pay his respects to the floor general who steered the Philippines to the world stage.
“I’m just happy for him. Finally, may peace of mind na siya to retire.
“Dati kasi nag-retire na siya eh, but he still went back. Siguro hindi pa tapos yung journey niya with the national team nun,” recalled Ravena as Castro retired from Gilas back in 2016 but made his return a year later.
Just 32 years young, Castro has sacrificed his personal aspirations for the sake of the national team – including delaying his wedding to long-time partner Lyle.
For Ravena – who was just 13 years old when Castro began to campaign for the Philippines – it was about time for Castro to chase his personal dreams of building a family.
“Getting married and starting a family… It’s not an easy decision for him to leave the country behind,” opined Ravena, who started his international career when he was just 17 years young.
“But out of all the people na may karapatan sabihin yun, it’s Jayson Castro – one of the people who never had a second thought about serving the country the past decade.”
Ravena knows that it will be tough to at least be half the player that Castro is. Though Guiao sees him as more than capable, the decorated cager admits that to the pressure that comes with it.
“Merong pressure kasi [si] Jayson Castro yun eh, multiple-time best point guard in Asia.
“There’s always been pressure, but it’s going to be fun. Learning from Mark [Barroca], learning from Paul [Lee], seeing these new guys like si Robert [Bolick], pati si CJ Perez… It’s a very interesting situation for me right now, na I’m kinda in a new environment, so to speak,” closed Ravena, who got to share the court with Castro during the first two windows of the Asian Qualifiers.
Fortunately, Castros’ legacy lives on in the likes of Ravena and the next generation of Gilas guards.
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