China club ‘offering Castro P14M’
THE CLUB team wooing Jason Castro to reinforce it in the tough China Basketball Association (CBA) league is reportedly willing to pay him an eye-popping P14 million for five months’ work.
The still-unnamed Chinese team wants the fleet-footed Castro—the continent’s No. 1 point guard—to play one tournament that will start in November and end in February next year.
The Inquirer broke the news of the offer to the Gilas Pilipinas and TNT Ka-Tropa stalwart on Thursday and got the salary figure from a second source.
The pay offer “is around $250,000 to $300,000, excluding won-game bonuses and other perks,” said the very reliable source, who asked not to be named at this time.
Castro is said to be receiving a monthly salary of P420,000—the maximum under individual salary cap rules—plus won game, by-phase and championship bonuses at TNT Ka-Tropa.
If he plays in China, the 6-foot dynamo from Pampanga would earn in five months what he would make in two years at TNT before taxes, according to the second source.
He could earn a lot more if he returns to play for the Texters for the remainder of the next PBA season.
Because Castro’s contract with the Texters will expire on Aug. 31, he can decide freely where he wants to play.
The Inquirer report’s first source, however, said the player and his handlers would seek permission from PLDT management first before entertaining the offer from China.
With the CBA running until February, Castro could miss the Philippine Cup, a tournament TNT wants to win badly again, according to the first source.
“That’s why Castro and his team would want to get the blessing of the only team (TNT) he has played for in the PBA,” the source said.
Imports in the CBA are paid hefty salaries. Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche reportedly receives about $2.5 million (about P117.5 million) a year.
Castro gained international prominence after being named the Mythical Team’s point guard in the last two Fiba Asia Men’s Championship, starting in 2013 in Manila.
Chinese fans were mesmerized by Castro in Changsha, Hunan province, last year where Gilas Pilipinas finished second to their national five. That victory gave China the lone Asian slot in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
At the last two Fiba Asia tournaments, Castro outshone Mahdi Kamrani of Iran and NBA veteran Yuta Tabuse of Japan.
The Philippines defeated both Iran and Japan in Changsha, with Castro later joining tournament MVP Yi Jianlian, Zhuo Qi and Guo Ailun of China and Nikkah Bahrami of Iran in the Mythical Team.
Castro went on to finish with a scoring average of 16.7 points, tied with Yi for eighth overall.
Only Blatche scored more for the Filipinos with 17.8 per game.