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By: Inquirer June 18,2017 - 09:47 PM

Jayson Castro expected to figure prominently in TNT-SMB PBA Comm’s Cup Finals

Game Wednesday
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. – San Miguel Beer vs TNT KaTropa

Jayson Castro came up with a performance that towed TNT KaTropa past Barangay Ginebra on Saturday night and into a titanic best-of-seven clash with powerhouse San Miguel Beer for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship.

After shooting 38 points and destroying all defenses thrown at him at the crunch in a series-clinching Game 4, it now looks like the Texters do have a chance against the Beermen, the consensus team-to-beat bannered by the champion all-Filipino core and a no-nonsense import in Charles Rhodes.

The 6-foot Castro, though, was quick to dispel any notion that TNT can beat San Miguel riding him again, the same way the Texters rode him against the Gin Kings on Saturday night.

“It will not be Jason Castro versus Chris Ross or (whichever guard),” Castro said in Filipino as Game 1 is about to be played Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. “We need to play as a team, and once we play as a team, things can happen.”

Ross’ name was mentioned by scribes after the similarly cat-quick guard also played big in the last two games of the Beermen’s semifinal series against Star, a confrontation that ended with the same 3-1 score with Ross contributing heavily in practically all departments.

“Everyone needs to contribute,” Castro said. “To beat San Miguel, that’s what we need. From Ranidel (De Ocampo), our team captain, down to our 14th guy. Everyone who plays must contribute. That’s our only chance.”

Castro came out with all guns firing against the Gin Kings, shooting his first nine points well inside the first four minutes of Game 4 before finishing off Ginebra with 10 of his total in the fourth.

To be fair, the Texters churned out a well-balanced attack, with three other locals tossing in twin digits with RR Garcia firing 16 and Kelly Williams, a one-time MVP, shooting 14 and rookie RR Pogoy chipping in with 13.

Import Joshua Smith shot 18 points in one good foot, and the uncertainty of not having the 330-pounder for the series against San Miguel is looming large with management bringing in a replacement in Mike Myers.

“We’re ready for any eventuality,” coach Nash Racela said, when asked if they would be sticking it out with Smith, whom Racela said was a “Warrior” and the hero in the Game 4 win “just for playing.”

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TAGS: Castro, expected, figure, Gun, Jayson, top

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