Castro mentors young turks in nat’l team » Manila Bulletin Sports

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By Waylon Galvez

One of the reasons Jayson Castro decided to rejoin the national team after retiring from playing for Gilas Pilipinas is his desire to impart his knowledge to younger players.

Castro knows that at 31, he only has so much gas left in the tank and and he wants to use his remaining competitive years to help the development of youngsters Kevin Alas, Kiefer Ravena and Jio Jalalon.

Jayson Castro

Jayson Castro

In the team’s opener in the FIBA Asia qualifier for the 2019 World Cup in China versus Japan last Friday, Castro made sure that he’d be imparting his understanding not just in words but by his actions.

Castro torched the Japanese with 20 points on 7-13 shooting from the perimeter, while adding seven rebounds, six assists and a steal in 29 minutes as Gilas won 77-71 in Tokyo.

“Malaking bagay yung unang panalo,” said Castro yesterday as Gilas resumed its practice session at the Meralco gym in Pasig City to prepare for its second match against Taiwan today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Although the 5-foot-11 Castro remains the undisputed leader of the team, it’s important for him to share his knowledge to Alas and Ravena, both members of Gilas in the qualifier, and Jalalon, who is part of the national team training pool for this World Cup.

“Isa sa mga dahilan yun kaya ako nag-decide bumalik sa Gilas,” said Castro, who announced his retirement in 2016 after the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) here.

“Kapag sa ensayo or sa game, kinaki-usap ko sila, nakakapag-share ako kung paanong ma-execute yung play,” said Castro, a two-time member of the FIBA Asia Mythical Five.

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