By JONAS TERRADO
Jayson Castro is not crying over spilled milk for missing a chance to represent the Philippines in the Indonesia Asian Games due to unforeseen circumstances, expressing instead his elation with the way the Yeng Guiao-coached national squad performed in its opening assignment over Kazakhstan.
Castro along with TNT KaTropa teammates Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy and veteran naturalized player Andray Blatche were supposed to lead the national side’s campaign in the Asiad but the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was forced to take a different route after the five were suspended by FIBA for their part in the World Cup Qualifiers brawl against Australia last month.
While the ban which covers various games does not cover the quadrennial meet, the SBP deemed it necessary not to include them in the Asian Games due to “moral reasons.” The responsibility was eventually handed to Rain or Shine, which agreed to send six players to the competition.
“Masaya naman kami sa lahat ng nagrerepresent ng country namin kasi hindi naman individual yun at saka hindi naman team yun, country yun,” Castro said after TNT’s 103-90 loss to NLEX in Friday’s PBA Governors’ Cup match at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“Kung ano ang success nila, success natin,” added the two-time FIBA Asia Mythical Five member.
Castro couldn’t help but marvel with how the Asian Games squad played in Friday’s opener against the former Soviet territory, leaning on a strong start on its way to producing a 96-59 win even without Fil-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson.
“Sobrang masaya ako sa kanila kasi makikita mo naman yung flow ng offense nila, parang team talaga sila kahit na nabuo lang ng ilang weeks,” Castro said.
He’s also confident that Clarkson can mesh well with the team by the time the Philippines seeks to cement its place in the quarterfinals against China tomorrow at the Indonesian capital.
“NBA player nanam yun at yung basketball IQ niya mataas naman. For sure, magiging maganda tandem nila ni Pringle, Gabe, Paul Lee at ng mga guards nila (He’s an NBA player and he’s got a high basketball IQ, so I’m sure he will do well with Stanley Pringle, Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee and the rest of the guards),” he said.
Castro will serve his one-game suspension in the World Cup Qualifiers on Sept. 13 when Gilas Pilipinas travels to Tehran to face Iran to open the second round.