(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. – TNT Katropa vs Meralco
Game 1 is on for Tropang Texters against Bolts.
When veteran mentor Norman Black returned to professional coaching in 2013 after a five-year stint in college basketball, his first job was with Talk ’N Text, a team he helped win the Philippine Cup that season.
One of the players he coached in that squad was guard Jayson Castro, already a household name in the PBA then as he bagged the Best Player of the Conference award in the no-import tournament.
Three seasons later, Castro has become even more dangerous.
That’s the concern of Black and the rest of his Meralco Bolts as they start their semifinal showdown against the Castro-led top seed TNT Katropa today in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifianals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Jayson has been playing spectacular this conference,” said Black of the 5-foot-11 Castro dubbed as ‘The Blur’ for his speed and cunning in scoring against opposing teams since joining the league in 2008.
“Last night versus Phoenix he was unstoppable. The thing that has impressed me most about his play is the fact that he’s scoring while also making his teammates better.”
“He is on top of his game,” added Black.
Castro, currently the leading contender for a fourth BPC plum, exploded for a personal-conference high of 42 points in powering the Texters to a 136-124 win over newcomer Phoenix in their quarterfinal match last Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center, Antipolo City.
Castro, who averaged just nearly 22 points per game in the elimination, converted 14-of-26 from the field, including 5-of-11 from three-point territory and 9-of-12 from the free throw line in just 27 minutes of action.