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CERTIFIED CRUNCH TIME PLAYER

01:44 PM February 18, 2013

PBA Baguio

SOMETIMES what matters is not how many points one scores, but when he puts them up.

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Such was the case of Cyrus Baguio, who played clutch roles in Alaska’s back-to-back wins in the week that was to earn for himself the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the period Feb. 11 to 17.

Baguio’s two-game average of 13.5 points may not be as impressive as Petron Blaze’s Jay Washington’s 16.5 points in two games and Rain or Shine’s Ryan Arana’s 20 points in a 91-82 win over Meralco.

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Most notable was the fact he delivered in the crunch, however, enabling the Aces to escape the clutches of Meralco and Barako Bull.

The Aces were being severely threatened by the Bolts, 65-64, when Baguio hooked up with Robert Dozier and Calvin Abueva in a fiery windup that pointed them to an 85-81 win last Wednesday.

In a similar nail-biting 77-73 decision over erstwhile unbeaten Barako last Sunday, Baguio again grabbed a major share of the spotlight by stealing off Jonas Villanueva and converting the layup to give Alaska full separation from a 71-70 count.

No wonder Alaska coach Luigi Trillo is all praises for his 32-year-old guard-forward, whose buzzer-beating layup also provided the difference in an 83-81 squeaker over Rain or Shine last Feb. 9.

“Cyrus is one guy who has been consistent for us since the last conference,” Trillo pointed out. “He just plays. He is low maintenance and is very coachable.”

What’s more, Baguio’s game continues to evolve, added Trillo.

“People questioned his capability to also play a deliberate halfcourt game but he has excelled in both the fastbreak and also the halfcourt game,” stated Trillo.

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“His turnovers (2.6 per game) are at an all-time low and that is a testament to the hard work he is putting in to embrace our system. What’s amazing is his willingness to take the hardest defensive task as well.

“I love Cy.”

More is expected of Baguio.

With three wins in as many outings, the Aces are on top of the leaderboard and the Iligan City-born cager is foremost among those Trillo projects to keep them there. (NC)

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