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Vintage Castro of TNT earns 2nd straight PBA Player of the Week plum

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Vintage Castro of TNT earns 2nd straight PBA Player of the Week plum
The 36-year-old Jayson Castro stamped another masterclass performance to propel reigning champion TNT Tropang Giga to their third straight PBA Philippine Cup finals stint.
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Last week, Jayson Castro reminded everyone he’s still got it.

This time around, “The Blur” proved he never lost it, after all.

On the heels of a thrilling game-winner last week, the 36-year-old guard stamped another masterclass performance to propel reigning champion TNT Tropang Giga to their third straight PBA Philippine Cup finals stint.

Castro saved his best for last, clicking from all cylinders for 26 points on an impressive 10-of-13 field goal shooting on top of three rebounds, two assists and a steal as TNT finished off Magnolia in Game Six of the best-of-seven semifinals, 87-74, to advance.

The super-efficient Castro did it all in just 28 minutes of play on his way to capturing a second consecutive Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period August 10-14. 

In three games overall last week, the Kapampangan pride put on a clinic behind averages of 17.7 points — on 73% clip, including 40 percent from downtown — 3.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds to become the unanimous choice as the final recipient of the weekly citation for this conference. 

Humble as always, Castro deflected the credit to Magnolia’s defense being centered on TNT gunner Mikey Williams as the factor on his timely eruption.

“Kung makita niyo 'yung defense nila, halos naka-deny na kay Mikey. So as a veteran, kailangan ko na talaga mag-takeover kasi may mga nakikita akong binibigay nilang shots,” said Castro, whose big triple inside the last three minutes pretty much took the fight out of the Hotshots for an 80-72 TNT lead.

“Halos lahat naman naka-focus kay Mikey, so kailangan ko tumulong talaga on both ends. At the same time, as a point guard, kailangan ko rin sila i-set up. For me, 'yung offense second na lang. ‘Yung i-orchestrate 'yung offense namin, 'yun 'yung importante sa'kin.”

In Game Three, Castro drained the game-winning triple to give TNT a crucial 2-1 lead, but put out an even better showing as the Tropang Giga won two of the next three games to barge into the championship series against either Meralco or San Miguel Beer.

Prior to his stellar Game 6 outing, Castro had nine markers and four assists in TNT’s 102-84 Game 4 win to take a commanding 3-1 lead, before unloading 18 points, six boards, and five assists in a close 105-97 Game 5 loss.

Now, he has his sights locked on the ultimate prize.

"As a player, 14 or 15 years na ko sa team na 'to, 'yun ang mentality ko — to win another championship, and at the same time 'yung legacy ko rito, 'yun 'yung gusto ko maging example para sa mga darating na bagong player dito,” he beamed.

Also nominated for the weekly plum being handed out by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat were Castro’s TNT teammates Poy Erram and RR Pogoy, as well as Meralco’s Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge, Allein Maliksi, and Raymond Almazan.

JAYSON CASTRO

PBA

PBA PLAYER OF THE WEEK

TNT

TROPANG GIGA

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