Jayson Castro played only 5 minutes during TNT’s game against Yeng Guiao and the NLEX Road Warriors, Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as the 5-time PBA Best Player of the Conference awardee suffered a soleus muscle strain (calf injury) in the opening quarter and never returned.
The KaTropa were left without their top point guard for the rest of the match and eventually fell to its first defeat in 8 games of the 2019 Governors’ Cup.
TNT officials later confirmed that Castro, who is part of the Gilas Pilipinas training pool for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, will be out for three to four weeks.
“We had some bad news today. I think Jayson’s gonna have to step away from the Gilas team. He’s got a four to six weeks of recovery so you know, I don’t see him being able to get ready in time to come and play so we’re down to 14 players,” said national team mentor Tim Cone on the latest development.
“If he makes the minimum time back, it means he’s coming back Nov. 26 or 27 and then that will be like three days before the tournament starts. That is, if he’s healthy, you know, he has to get in shape, he has to play, and so I don’t think he can. If he’s five weeks, then he’s out six weeks, we’re already done, so it’s basically a four-to-six week injury,” he added.
The exclusion of Castro is a big blow not only for Gilas but for Cone himself who was already looking forward to coaching the 2-time best point guard in Asia.
“Like I said, it’s a huge blow. He’s so respected amongst the fifteen guys there. He is one of the guys that I was looking forward to coaching. But that was tough news. Tougher for him actually having to come back from that.”