The Blur proves his status as Gilas' "premier closer"

Paul Lintag on Feb 25, 2018 10:50 PM
The Blur proves his status as Gilas'
With the Philippines holding on to a two-point lead late against the Japanese, Castro came through with a clutch floater under duress, giving Gilas an 88-84 lead with 10 seconds to go.

MANILA, Philippines --- Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes labeled Jayson Castro as his "premier closer" Sunday after the game against Japan in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

The Blur proved his coach right.

With the Philippines holding on to a two-point lead late against the Japanese, Castro came through with a clutch floater under duress, giving Gilas an 88-84 lead with 10 seconds to go.

Castro finished with only eight points, all in the second half. His "game winner" was his only make in the fourth period.

That was more than enough for the Philippines to secure the win and move on to the second round of the Asian Qualifiers.

"Siguro as a veteran, yung mga ganoong responsibility kailangan ko [i-grab], kasi yun nga, nakita ko naman na may advantage ako," Castro said.

"Yung mga moment na ganoon, kapag beterano ka, dapat ikaw yung [kumuha]. So miss or make, yun nga, basta matira lang namin. Lucky lang na na-shoot," he added.

Castro has played three games in these Qualifiers and for each game, he has been crucial in the clutch, giving the Philippines three wins to advance to the second round.

The only game he missed due to an ankle injury was the road game against Australia earlier this weeek. Gilas lost to the Boomers.

After being on the shelf, he made sure to be ready in the rematch against the Akatsuki Five.

"Almost one week akong walang basketball din eh, totally rest lang 'yung mga couple of days. Sa Australia din ako nag-start mag-rehab, mga light work out lang," he said.

"And then, last night lang 'yun, nag-scrimmage ako. Pero 'yun nga, sabi ko naman, ready ako just in case na gamitin ako," Castro added.

Missing his shot against Australia, Castro is now looking forward to meeting the Boomers in July at the Philippine Arena.

He is confident about the Philippines' chances of an upset.

"Na-feel namin na may chance tayo eh, as long as maaga lang tayong mag-prepare and at the same time 'yun nga, makapag-training camp man lang, at the same time makapag-tune up game para ma-feel lang 'yung isa't isa ulit," Castro said, talking about Australia.

"Parang 'yun ang kailangan para talunin 'yung Australia eh. Kasi alam naman natin na kaya natin sila," the Blur added.

 


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