SEA Games: Tim Cone honored to have Jayson Castro back with Gilas Pilipinas

Santino Honasan on Oct 01, 2019 11:42 AM
SEA Games: Cone honored to have Castro back with Gilas
"I’m just honored that he’s here, I’m just really, truly honored, I’m excited about coaching him," - Tim Cone on Jayson Castro (Photo: Josh Albelda)

When the 15-man pool for the Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team to represent the country in the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games was announced, one of the major talking points was the fact that it was made up of all PBA players.

The other major talking point was the return of long-time Gilas Pilipinas playmaker Jayson Castro.

The Talk N’ Text star was believed to be done with international competition after he had begged off from duty during the recently-concluded FIBA Basketball World Cup in China. Castro was of course part of that historic 2014 team that competed in the World Cup in Spain, and had been one of the National Team’s key pieces for the last few years.

When the SEA Games pool was announced and Castro’s name was on it, there was, of course, much excitement.

“I’m proud to announce, we have asked him to come back and join the program and I’m really proud of the fact that he decided to come back to help us out,” said newly-appointed Gilas head coach Tim Cone during the roster announcement last September 26th.

Monday evening at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas, Cone was able to get his first look, so to speak, at Castro and his new Gilas squad when they converged for their first practice in preparation for the upcoming biennial multi-sport event set to be held in the Philippines from late-November to early-December.

“I don’t think it really took any convincing, Jayson loves playing with the National Team, I just felt he may be…I think he felt that maybe he was…the young guns need to come in and start taking his place, and I think that it was kind of a realization for him watching that how much he was missed in that lineup, and the leadership,” Cone said during the post-practice scrum. “He’s still Asia’s best guard, and I think when he was approached again to come in and join us, I think that he was willing to do it.”

Safe to say, Cone was really happy to have The Blur back in the country’s colors and on his squad. This will be the first union between the PBA’s winningest head coach and Asia’s best playmaker.

“He knows that he can contribute and he can be a great help and he can lead this team. I’m just honored that he’s here, I’m just really, truly honored, I’m excited about coaching him, I’ve never had a chance to coach him,” Cone expressed.

For his part, Castro was also excited for the opportunity to be playing for Cone for the first time in his storied professional career.

“Sobrang detalyado niya, every movement ine-explain niya, which is sobrang helpful sa players kasi, yung mga ganung coach, minsan mo lang maging coach kaya i-absorb mo lahat ng malalaman mo sa kanya,” Castro said of Cone’s coaching style.

“This is my first time kay coach Tim…so happy ako na under ako sa kanya,” he added.

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