By Kevin Sox
Has the Philippines seen the last of the best point guard in Asia?
Long-time Gilas Pilipinas playmaker Jayson Castro may have hinted at retiring from the international game for good following an interview at the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after TNT KaTropa’s win over Columbian Dyip Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
“Nagkausap na kami ni Coach Yeng (Guiao) and then even yung (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas), at tsaka boss (Manny V. Pangilinan) and then buong coaching staff, alam na yung situation ko. Sabi ko I want to focus muna sa family ko kasi almost seven years na non-stop basketball,” said Castro to reporters.
Asked straightforwardly if Castro is retiring from the national team, the KaTropa player answered with one word: “Siguro.”
Castro’s rise as Asia’s best point guard came in 2013 when he helped Gilas win the silver medal in front of their home fans in the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup (then championship) and qualify to the 2014 World Cup.
He then made it back to back FIBA Asia All Star 5 awards when the squad won silver anew in 2015 in China.
Citing his long history of injuries and personal matters, Castro has decided to pass the torch to the next generation of Filipino guards.
“Sobrang dinedicate ko yung sarili ko doon kasi nga yung break ko nasa Gilas. Siguro it’s time to give it to the younger guys naman tsaka nakita ko naman talaga na ready na sila,” said Castro.
“Yun nga yung pinagu-usapan namin yung situation kung bakit ako nagpa-paalam muna sa Gilas. Naintindihan naman nila.”
Nicknamed “The Blur,” Castro initially retired following Gilas’ fall at the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament before reactivating himself for the 2017 SEABA, FIBA Asia Cup, and 2019 World Cup qualitication windows.
But from the looks of it, this is one retirement Castro is not going to come out from, and he will surely be missed in the international basketball scene.