TNT’s semis feat was unexpected.
The future of TNT KaTropa looks bright as far as ace guard Jayson Castro is concerned despite missing the title in the last three conferences.
The KaTropa settled for the runner-up finish in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and appeared in two semifinal series this season.
“Para sa akin, maganda yung naabot ng team considering yung mga pinagdaanan namin like yung trades na nangyari and yung adjustment sa new system,” said Castro yesterday.
Castro was referring to rookie coach Nash Racela, who replaced veteran mentor Jong Uichico prior to the season, and the departure of veterans Ranidel de Ocampo and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
Ganuelas-Rosser was dealt to San Miguel Beer for RR Garcia during the Commissioner’s Cup, while the long-time TNT player de Ocampo was traded to Meralco in a three-team deal during the Governors’ Cup.
Castro said de Ocampo advised him to lead the squad in adjusting to the situation after the latter left the squad. He was pleased that his teammates responded to the challenge.
“Ang maganda kasi nung nawala si Ranidel, nag-usap kami na tulungan ko yung team na maka-adjust agad. Kasi nung time na nawala sa amin si Jimmy (Alapag), ang tagal bago kami naka-recover,” said Castro.
“Ngayon naging mabilis naman, naka-adjust kami agad, lalo yung mga younger teammates nag-step up agad sila. Kaya after mag-struggle, naka-bawi kami agad and naka-pasok sa semifinals,” he added.
TNT finished the Philippine Cup elims with a 6-5 card for a semis stint before forcing Game 7 against eventual champion San Miguel Beer. At the Commissioner’s Cup, the team improved to 8-3 after the elims and eventually barging into the finals where they lost to Brgy Ginebra San Miguel, 3-1, in the semis.