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No qualms for Castro despite shortened minutes

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Tiebreaker Times No qualms for Castro despite shortened minutes Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa PBA Season 42 Jayson Castro 2017 PBA Commissioners Cup

After Friday night’s clash against Globalport Batang Pier at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, TNT Katropa are now on a five-game roll — the kind of stretch expected of a team that has always been known for winning.

But what has been eye-catching in this recent winning streak of theirs, in the import-laden conference, is the limited minutes being played by speedy floor general Jayson Castro — a scene similar to what he had gone through in the last Philippine Cup.

“Oo [okay lang],” said Castro, who played just 23 minutes but still finished with 15 points.

“Ever since na nag-take over na siya [head coach Nash Racela], ‘yun rin naman ang pinag-uusapan namin. Para pagdating sa playoffs, mas fresh kami.”

Looking back, the 30-year-old Kapampangan point guard had also played under the same circumstance in the previous All-Filipino Cup, averaging 28.6 minutes in the elimination phase.

Now in the Commissioner’s Cup, Castro is averaging 26.9 minutes per game so far. And for him, the main reason for this is their preparations for the playoffs, for him to keep his legs fresh once the real grind starts.

“Yun na talaga ‘yung tinitignan namin lagi — ‘yung big picture, yung playoffs talaga,” Castro shared.

“Tsaka mina-maximize rin namin yung talent namin, until the ninth, tenth guys. Sa practice kasi maganda rin naman pinapakita nila.”

Still, Friday night’s streak-boosting victory is not just the result of him playing notably, as he usually does, but also of the whole Katropa’s effort.

“Maganda yung nilaro namin, especially yung offense namin,” praised Castro, who is now averaging 16 points per game.

“Marami kaming wide open shots and yung import namin, nakukuha na niya yung laro niya at naku-kundisyon na rin.”

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