Changing of the guard for Gilas Pilipinas?
Paul Lintag on Aug 12, 2017 09:19 AM
Jayson Castro is still the reigning two-time best point guard in Asia but Terrence Romeo might be ready to finally take over. (FIBA)
While he's still the reigning two-time best point guard in Asia, it appears that Jayson Castro is more than happy to concede the Gilas Pilipinas scoring duties to the younger and more explosive Terrence Romeo.
So far in the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup in Lebanon, Romeo has been the undisputed first scoring option for the Philippines, leading the team with 21.5 points per game.
The Bro has simply been sensational in two Group B games in three days, burning defending champion China with 26 points (14 in the fourth) and Iraq with 17 (11 in the third period).
Castro meanwhile is not even a top-3 scorer for Gilas Pilipinas right now. The Blur is averaging 7.0 points per outing, good for fifth in the team.
Against Iraq Friday, Castro recorded his career-low in FIBA Asia play, scoring only one point. He would've have been scoreless if officials allowed Calvin Abueva to finish taking his free throws.
The Beast was asked to leave the court after he got a minor scratch and Castro took his place at the line.
Counting the Iraq game, Castro has scored in double figures in 13 of his last 15 FIBA Asia outings. The only other time he didn't score in double digits during that span was the 2015 Final against China where he scored eight points.
Castro's previous FIBA Asia low was six points, recorded against Saudi Arabia in 2013, his debut game in the Asian Championships.
For comparison, Romeo has played 11 FIBA Asia games up until the Iraq game. The Bro has scored in double figures in nine of those games. His 26-point explosion against China is his FIBA career high and it matches that of Castro who also scored 26 in a victory over Iran two years ago.
Despite not putting up big numbers, at least not yet, Castro has been running the Gilas offense to near perfection in Lebanon, averaging a team-high 6.5 assists.
He dished out seven dimes against China, including a beautiful pass to Christian Standhardinger that was the final dagger in the Philippines' rousing win.
Against Iraq, the Blur had six assists.
While he's still the reigning two-time best point guard in Asia, it seems like Jayson Castro is more than happy to take a backseat to Terrence Romeo when it comes to scoring, perfectly content on playing the role of stabilizer in Gilas' sometimes wild offense.
With the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup still a long way to go however, Castro has more than enough time to take over for the Philippines. But as of now, it looks like we're witnessing a changing of the guard that will not only affect the point guard landscape of Gilas Pilipinas but also that of Asia.
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