Jayson Castro vs. Chris Ross is the premier matchup in the 2017 Commissioner's Cup Finals

Paul Lintag on Jun 20, 2017 03:19 PM
Castro vs. Ross is the premier matchup in Comm's Cup Finals
Across the board, Ross and Castro look to be pretty much even. To find out who has the edge, we just have to see them on the court in the Finals.

Let's just get this out of the way, in the San Miguel-TNT Finals for the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Chris Ross vs. Jayson Castro is the premier one-on-one matchup.

It's also the most obvious.

Sure, both sides would downplay and even deny this impending collission between two of the best point guards in the PBA, but whoever comes out on top of this duel would most probably lead his team to a championship.

And so, let's try and figure out who has the advantage between the two before the Finals kick off on June 21 at the Araneta Coliseum.

So far in 16 games during the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Ross, the reigning PBA Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 13.19 points, 5.19 rebounds, 8.06 assists, and 2.94 steals per game.

In San Miguel's current playoff run, Ross went for 15.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 9.4 assists, and 4 steals per game, allowing him to tie teammate Alex Cabagnot for the lead in the Best Player of the Conference race.

On the other side, Castro averaged 16.8 points, 3.87 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.20 steals per game in 15 games for TNT.

In the postseason, the Blur was up to 18.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.85 assists, and 1.8 steals, leading TNT to the Finals for the first time in two years by coming up clutch in two closeout games for the KaTropa.

Across the board, Ross and Castro look to be pretty much even. To find out who has the edge, we just have to see them on the court in the Finals.

That is if they do engage one-on-one over the course of the best-of-7 series.

Both sides have been doing their best to downplay the matchup though.

"Playing agaisnt Jayson is always tough, over the years he's gotten so much better at running his team. It's always tough going against Talk 'N Text with Jayson leading them but it's more than just me vs. Jayson and Jayson vs. me, when you're playing a great player it's all about team defense," Ross said.

"I'm not going into this series thinking that it's just me vs. Jayson," he added.

Castro agrees.

"Hindi Castro vs. Ross to. Basketball is a team sport so siguro both teams kung paano maga-adjust sa isa't-isa pagdating ng series [yun mananalo]," the Blur said.

While it's not a priority for both point guards to engage in a direct one-on-one matchup, San Miguel head coach Leo Austria believes that facing the caliber of a player like Castro will have his boys motivated.

And that includes Ross.

"Well pinaguusapan natin is best point guard in Asia. Alex [Cabagnot] and Chris Ross did not play in international competition, so how can you consider them as the best player in Asia? Jayson has proven he's the best player in Asia because of the international competition, and I'm very proud of him because he's a Filipino. But regarding Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot. they have a different kind of game," Austria said.

"For the fact na kino-compare mo yung isa sa best player in Asia, nafa-flatter yang mga yan eh. It's a motivation for them, for every player naman and every person naman eh -- if you know someone is better than you, you're working hard to level up or ma-takeover mo yun," he added.



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