by Jonas Terrado
Give it to the young guns.
That’s what Jayson Castro practically told Gilas Pilipinas management Friday as he confirmed his decision to skip the FIBA World Cup in China this September.
Gilas coach Yeng Guiao had earlier hinted that Castro wanted to focus on his personal priorities after spending the last seven years representing the country in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments.
“I want to focus muna sa family ko kasi almost seven years ako na non-stop basketball sa Gilas,” Castro said after TNT’s 109-102 win over Columbian in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
“Sobrang dine-dedicate ko yung sarili ko dun as in yung break ko (sa PBA) nasa Gilas and siguro it’s time to give it to the young guys,” added Castro.
Castro is turning 33 this June 30.
Asked if he is ready to end his decorated national team career, Castro responded by saying: “Siguro.”
His decision came after tying the knot with long-time partner, the former Lyle Mariano, last Saturday in his home province of Pampanga. The two already have two children.
Spending more time with his wife and kids hold a big importance for the 32-year-old Castro at this stage of his life and career.
Castro made his Gilas debut in 2013 when he led the country to a World Cup berth courtesy of a runner-up finish in the FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
He was also named to the FIBA Asia Mythical Team twice in 2013 and in Gilas’ second straight silver medal in 2015, earning the nickname as “Asia’s Best Point Guard.”