By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The once tagged “Best Point Guard in Asia” is back with the national team and is ready to take the FIBA Asia Cup stage by storm once again as he did way back 2013.
TNT Tropang Giga’s Jayson Castro will be the latest addition to head coach Chot Reyes’ current Gilas Pilipinas pool after shooting guard RR Pogoy suffered an injury during one of their games during the PBA Governor’s Cup.
Castro’s inclusion in the initial 21-man lineup of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will mark his return to the national team after leading the country to a silver medal finish nine years ago and several international trophies during his glory years.
Also, the prized point guard’s comeback donning the blue and white will set up a reunion with former teammate Marc Pingris who was recently tapped as part of Gilas’ coaching staff.
It was during Castro’s breakout year with Gilas when the national team ended a 36-year drought in the World Cup and immediately turned heads in Southeast Asia with his masterful performance during their FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers campaign last 2013.
Joining Castro in the pool are his TNT teammates Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Kelly Williams, and Ryan Reyes who all had past experiences joining the national team several years ago.
First-timers that are also part of the Tropang Giga roster are Kib Montalbo, Gab Banal, Brian Heruela, and Glenn Khobuntin.
Meanwhile, Gilas mainstays Robert Bolick, Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, Juan Gomez de Liano, Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Jaydee Tungcab, Tzaddy Rangel, and LeBron Lopez are also named as part of the pool.