Photo from PBA

Jayson Castro couldn’t write a better script after helping TNT end its six-year title drought inside his alma mater where dreams of becoming a PBA player were first realized.

The Tropang Giga captain turned sentimental as he captured his seventh PBA crown at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga where his shift from track and field to basketball opened the door to creating one of the greatest careers in Philippine basketball.

“Talagang hindi ko maimagine na dito ko ulit makukuha yung championship,” Castro said after TNT’s 94-79 win over Magnolia Pambansang Manok Friday, Oct. 29 to capture the PBA Philippine Cup crown.

“Sobrang special sa akin to. Siguro isa to sa mga championship na hindi ko makakalimutan talaga,” added Castro, who after years of falling short as one of TNT’s top stars relished a limited but effective role off the bench this conference.

The move instituted by returning coach Chot Reyes and his staff led to reduced minutes for Castro, who averaged 10.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 24 games.

It didn’t take long until the playoffs for the move to pay off as Castro, who underwent knee operation in the offseason, was able to provide an impact off the bench.

And the farther TNT went, apparently the better Castro became as his leadership and solid quarterbacking played a role in TNT’s 4-1 series triumph over Magnolia despite posting 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Once the celebration began, Castro was savoring the moment of achieving the ultimate goal in familiar surroundings.

Castro asked former teammate and now-TNT assistant Ranidel de Ocampo to take a photo of him with the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy at center court where the DHVSU logo was painted.

Immediately after De Ocampo completed the request, Castro would lie down amid confetti that littered the court, having the time of his life. Castro was not only in cloud nine, he also came full circle.

Source: Manila Bulletin (