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TNT's Castro responds to Racela's challenge

MANILA, Philippines – Called out for being "absent" by his head coach, TNT star Jayson Castro responded big time in the crucial Game 4 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals against the San Miguel Beermen on Wednesday night.

The usually superb Castro embodied TNT's struggles in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series, as he needed 18 shots to score 17 points, while having more turnovers (10) than rebounds and assists combined (six). Castro was a team-worst -19 in that game, and San Miguel rolled to a 109-97 win.

TNT's Jayson Castro (17) stretches for a lay-up against San Miguel Beer. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports
"Sabi ko nga, 'Jayson, we won't win if you are absent, so we need you on the floor,'" said Racela on Wednesday night. "I don't really require them to play an excellent ball game, but at least, let's be decent, tapos contribute lang tayo."

"Today, there was a turnaround," the coach said. "I think Jayson was more aggressive and he was looking for his shots."

Racela brought Castro off the bench in Game 4, and the guard responded with a far better effort. He scored 17 points – 10 of which came in the final quarter – while making seven of his 12 field goals. He was at his best in crunch time, as he kept the Beermen at bay with timely buckets.

His best moment came with 1:45 left, when Castro drove baseline, shrugging off all SMB defenders, before lofting up a right-handed lay-up with his back to the basket to put TNT ahead, 101-93. The KaTropa wound up with a 102-97 win to tie the best-of-seven Finals series at two games apiece.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/06/29/17/tnts-castro-responds-to-racelas-challenge

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