Jason Castro wasn’t supposed to play in game 6.
But taking a page from the historic book of Willis Reid, the legendary NBA player who rallied the New York Knicks despite being hobbled with a knee injury, Castro played through one of his own to carry the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters to a 104-78 win in the sixth game of the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup finals.
Playing in the most important game of the season, Castro worked hard for every point he scored, his expression displaying pain everytime he attacked the rim.
Despite the injury, he ended up with 19 points, 13 of those coming in the first period alone that helped the Tropang Texters to set the pace of the match. He made his first six shots, enough to lift the entire squad to a higher level and inspire them to tie the series.
“In the end, this series is going to be won by only one thing – heart,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes. “You can see Jason wincing in pain everytime he goes to the basket. As you can see, my players are barely walking. Jason is day-to-day, Ryan [Reyes] is day-to-day and Harvey [Carey] is day-to-day.”
“Yung kay Jason is according to how much he can tolerate the pain in his MCL strain. It’s about pain management. Kung pipilitin namin, pwede, but we have to balance everything, if it is up to the players, they will always want to play. But the situation of these injured players is like hour to hour situation.”
Castro said he doesn’t think about the injury and only focused on one thing – win.
“Masakit,” said Castro when he was asked to describe how he feels during the game. “Pero hindi ko iniisip na masakit. Sabi ng teammates ko laro lang, kung masakit ilalabas. Kapag andun na yung adrenaline mo mawawala na yung sakit.”
Can he tolerate the pain on Sunday’s Judgment Day, when the two teams clash for the decisive game 7?
“Alam niyo naman ako kahit masakit, pipilitin ko,” Castro concluded.
But stitches, injuries, floor burns and body aches are a small price for a rare Grand Slam.
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