Did Jayson Castro just play his final FIBA Asia game?
Paul Lintag on Aug 21, 2017 09:17 AM
Is this the final image of Jayson Castro in FIBA Asia play? Hopefully not. (FIBA)
If he decides not to retire once again, it can be safe to say that Jayson Castro will still be around Gilas Pilipinas as the national team shoots for a return trip to the FIBA World Cup and possibly the Olympics.
However, when it comes to the mission of regaining the Asian Championship, the Blur might not be around the next time we have a shot at it.
After making his international presence felt with sensational performances in the 2013 and 2015 FIBA-Asia Championships, Jayson Castro appeared more human than Blur in the 2017 edition in Beirut, Lebanon.
Castro still had a solid tournament for the Philippines, going for 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per ball game.
However, he wasn't the unstoppable force he was before.
Maybe age played a factor or maybe Castro just initiated the changing of the guard for Gilas Pilipinas. Regardless of what the actual reason is, Jayson Castro didn't look exactly the same for the Philippines out there on the court.
The Blur still showed flashes of brilliance all throughout the tournament, specifically with the way he ran the Gilas offense to near perfection most of the time.
However, those looking for a signature Castro takeover never got their wish and the Philippines settled for a disappointing 7th place after back-to-back crushing defeats at the hands of South Korea and Lebanon.
Sunday marked the official end of Jayson Castro's reign as the best point guard in Asia. He is the second oldest player in this current Gilas pool and he will be in his mid-30s in the next FIBA-Asia Cup four years from now.
As if adding insult to injury, the Blur exited the Philippines' final game against Jordan with an apparent knee injury.
It doesn't appear serious enough but one of Castro's final images in the Asian championships was him being carried off the floor by his teammates because he couldn't stand or walk on his own.
It can be safe to say that Castro will continue lead the Philippines in its defiant march back to the World Cup and the Olympics.
But when it comes to the Asian championships, it appears that the Blur has made his final stand.
Hopefully, that's not the case.
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