‘Premier closer’ Castro comes through for Gilas
In the end, Gilas Pilipinas knew where to go when it mattered the most.
Jayson Castro once again saved the day for Gilas Pilipinas in a 89-84 victory over Japan Sunday in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The veteran national team playmaker sanm the game-clinching floater with 10.6 seconds to spare, securing the Philippines’ third win in four games.
“That’s why we have Jayson,” said coach Chot Reyes. “That’s why we made sure Jayson is in this lineup.”
Castro missed the Australia game last Thursday due to an ankle sprain, but made sure everyone remembered why he was named the best point guard in Asia twice.
He saved his best for last and came alive in the second half, where he scored all of his eight points and none bigger than the game-sealing baskets in the waning seconds.
Reyes said the risk of missing Castro in the last game against Australia paid off with this superb showing in the clutch.
“We rested him the last game to make sure he was ready for tonight because he’s our premier closer,” the mentor said. “And he came through tonight.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.