The return of Chot Reyes was the sign Jayson Castro needed
“For the past few years, it has been my honor to represent all of you but now it’s time to hand over the responsibility to the younger generation,” Jayson Castro posted on social media after Gilas Pilipinas had been eliminated in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament-Manila last July.
Prior to the announcement of Gilas Pilipinas 5.0’s 24-man line-up, national team head coach Chot Reyes did not hide his desire to bring Jayson Castro back to the fold. And his wish was granted, as Castro will serve as the eldest statesman for the young Gilas squad.
It was a talk in Bataan last October that changed everything.
“He visited me at Anvaya Cove, one week after they got eliminated in the Governors Cup,” Reyes, who coached Castro in TNT before, recalled.
“We had a long talk and you know, that’s when I knew that he’s ready to come back.”
During that time, the 53-year-old mentor had yet to fully decide on whether he would return to coaching. But he knew right then that if he did, so will Castro.
“We weren’t sure that time if I’ll be returning but, in so many words, he said that ‘if you’re going to come back coach, then I’m going to reconsider [my retirement] decision.'”
Though his retirement from the international game was postponed, Castro continues to fulfill his promise of taking care of the next generation.