Re: the Tony Parker of the ASIA...
PBL star to stay amateur
WITH HIS athleticism and attitude, Jason Castro is certainly be a big catch in the pro league’s annual draft pick next month.
But the prolific Harbour Center guard passed up that rare opportunity yesterday after revealing his decision to play for the national team for one last time.
"Playing in the PBA is everybody’s dream but playing for flag and country is something you have to embrace and experience. Walang katulad ang maging member ng national team" said Castro. "I’m still young, so I decided to forego my plan of turning pro this year."
The soft-spoken Pampanga pride is being considered as one of the probable members of the Philippine team that will play, and hopefully restore the country’s pride in the SEA Games which is slated in Thailand this December.
Castro, who made a history in the PBL after winning back-to-back MVP titles, just turned 21 last month. He also played a key role in Harbour title-clinching win in the recent Unity Cup.
Castro’s decision was warmly welcomed by amateur basketball godfather and Harbour Center owner Mikee Romero.
"I’m glad Jason made that decision, at least we are assured of having one good guy in the team," said Romero. "That is a great sacrifice on his part because most of the big stars in the amateur ranks are all set to join the pro ranks."
Erick Arejola, tasked by Romero to supervise the ongoing tryouts for the RP team, also heaved a big sigh of relief and said: "With Jason around, we’re assured of at least one go-to-guy in the team."
Also one reason why he deferred his decision to turn pro is his plan to finish his studies at the Philippine Christian University where he’s taking up a business management course.
If given another chance, he also wants to play for the PCU Dolphins next season.
"I still want to play for PCU next year, " said Castro, who played for the Harbour-RP team in the SEABA Club Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia last April.
Meantime, RP team coach Junel Baculi was also overjoyed by Castro’s decision to stay in the amateur ranks for at least another year.
"I salute him for doing this patriotic act," said Baculi. "I hope others will follow."