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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Watch out for Castro-Williams duo

In the history of the PBA, there were several guard combos that became endeared to PBA fans.

Old-time PBA fans will never forget the dynamic duo of Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz, who could alternately bring the ball up and set the tone for their team, Toyota, where they won nine championships together. 

Hector Calma and Ricardo Brown formed a deadly backcourt tandem at San Miguel Beer and together, they became a part of the 1989 grand-slam team of the Beermen. 

Through the years, there had been many more backcourt duos, composed of two players who can play alternately the point guard role for their team and act as floor general.

Probably the latest backcourt tandem that had much success was the partnership of Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro, who teamed up for five of the seven championships won by the TNT franchise. 

A young, explosive player, Castro was taken into the wings of Alapag, TNT’s court general then, and together, they helped the franchise establish a dynasty from 2009 to 2012.

Their partnership spilled over all the way to the national team, where Alapag skippered Gilas Pilipinas, while allowing Castro to flourish in the backcourt and watch him become the best point guard in Asia in 2013.

More importantly, the Alapag-Castro tandem helped carry the Philippines back in the world basketball circuit when they helped Gilas Pilipinas bag a silver medal and earn a berth back to the World Cup for the first time in 40 years.

The Alapag-Castro tandem is all but part of history now.

This year, TNT is out to repeat history and bound to produce another potential great tandem in the backcourt.

Now the acknowledged veteran, Castro will be the one playing the role as mentor to newcomer Mikey Williams, an explosive guard carrying an impressive resume. 

The 6’2” Williams had a stint playing in the NBA D-League for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and also saw action in the US NCAA Division 1. When he burst into local basketball scene, he took the MPBL by storm and quickly turned General Santos City Warriors to a playoff contender. His stint with Mighty Sports playing in the William Jones Cup and Dubai International tournament was likewise impressive that he immediately became a potential top overall pick days before the PBA Rookie Draft.

Williams didn’t end up No.1, but as fourth overall pick, he’ll be a welcome addition for a TNT team that is looking for an immediate impact player, who’ll fill the void left by disgruntled player Ray Parks.

In TNT’s new era, expect the Castro-Williams tandem to display their explosiveness. It won’t be surprising if they do much of the damage on the opposition. Both players can shoot, slash their way to the basket and keep a hold on their team.

TNT’s backcourt has been reloaded and is determined to provide an uninterrupted signal for the squad.

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