With lesson learned, Castro excited to lead PH again
Jayson Castro’s back wearing the Philippine colors in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers a changed man after serving his three-game suspension that left him out of crucial games the team played in.
The Philippines went 1-2 during Castro’s absence and this led to Gilas Pilipinas going into a third-place tie with Japan toting similar 5-4 records.
Castro said he’s learned his lesson after he got involved in the brawl between Gilas and Australia when the two teams first met in the first round of the competition.
The Philippines lost that game 89-53 after the team got dwindled down to three men—June Mar Fajardo, Baser Amer, and Gabe Norwood—and Amer was the last one to remain on the floor after Fajardo and Norwood intentionally fouled out to end the match prematurely.
“The past served as a lesson for me and at the same time I’m excited to play for the national team,” said Castro in Filipino Sunday after the team’s practice at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I can provide leadership since I’m one of the veterans and I think the team just lacked guidance.”
Castro was just one of the 10 Filipino players suspended, in varying degrees, and the other nine who were slapped with sanctions were Calvin Abueva, Roger Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz, Jio Jalalon, Andray Blatche, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, and Matthew Wright.
His suspension, though, is over and Castro’s ready to go up against Iran in an all-important game that could see the Philippines get a share of the second spot in Group F.
The top three teams in Groups E and F and the better of the fourth placers will advance to the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup in China.
Australia, Korea, New Zealand, and World Cup host China have secured its slots for the 2019 tilt leaving only three spots up for grabs.
“Our focus right now is on Iran and coach Yeng (Guiao) said we still have a chance for the No. 2 as long as we can win tomorrow,” said Castro, who was named as Asia’s best point guard twice in 2013 and 2015.
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