CYRUS Baguio’s emergence as Alaska’s new go-to guy is now an established fact.
The wiry guard again delivered in a PBA Commissioner’s Cup game the Aces badly needed to earn for himself the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the period Feb. 25 to March 3.
In the Aces’ 92-69 victory over Talk N Text last Friday, Baguio scattered 17 points, hauled down three rebounds and issued as many assists to help stretch their unbeaten streak to five and solidify their hold on solo leadership.
“It’s amazing how consistent he has been for us this year,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo of Baguio, who was also cited by the scribes in the week spanning Feb. 11 to 17.
“Again so proud of how he plays both sides of the court. He has proven he can excel in the halfcourt game for us and play good defense at the same time,” added Trillo.
The likes of Jayvee Casio, Sonny Thoss, Calvin Abueva and Gabby Espinas have also been helping out import Robert Dozier. It is clearly Baguio who sets the tone for Alaska, however.
“He is thinking like a heady point guard out there, getting our team in good rhythm, like he never gets tired out there,” pointed out Trillo.
Baguio’s numbers tell a clear tale as he’s been averaging 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block per game in the conference thus far.
It didn’t help any that Baguio seemingly is bristling for atonement against TNT.
In the teams’ Philippine Cup semifinal duel last January, Baguio scored just three points, 11 below his average, in Game Six and the Tropang Texters notched a five-point win to move on to the Finals and eventually win the crown.
Baguio later attributed the dismal performance to a throbbing headache caused by the smell of a new mat for his car.
With no such concern bothering him in the latest rematch Baguio showed how lethal he could be. He went 8-for-13 from the field through a dazzling array of jumpers and drives.
Baguio did not score in the fourth period, but after scattering seven in the third canto that plucked Alaska away from a tight contest and pushed it to a 73-44 spread that was padded by the other Aces to a high of 31.
More test is forthcoming for Baguio when Alaska battles San Mig Coffee and Petron Blaze in back-to-back games this week.
“He will have his hands full defending (James) Yap and (PJ) Simon of San Mig and (Ronald) Tubid, (Joseph) Yeo and the comebacking (Alex) Cabagnot of Petron,” noted Trillo.
The way he’s been playing of late, Baguio should be up to the task. (NC)