IN A ZONE
JAYVEE Casio’s adjustment period with new team Alaska did not take long. And the comfort zone between Casio and his Aces teammates are reaping some very nice dividends.
The sophomore playmaker proved to be the vital cog in a win the Aces just notched in stretching their PBA Philippine Cup roll, enough for him to be named the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.
Casio scattered 25 points, including the game-winner, in a 94-92 victory over ertstwhile unbeaten Talk ‘N Text last Friday that enabled Alaska to extend its run to five games and move up to second-running spot in the season-opening tourney.
The performance laced by a 6-for-10 three-point shooting and four assists also highlighted an amazing streak for the former national team standout, who has averaged 18.6 points and almost five feeds per game in that winning roll.
The entry of super rookie Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio also finding his groove and the likes of Mark Baracael, Dondon Hontiveros, Sonny Thoss, RJ Jazul and Tony dela Cruz helping out in their own ways are also factors.
Still, it is Casio who got the scribes’ unanimous nod, a decision Alaska coach Luigi Trillo wholeheartedly agrees with.
“Jayvee is in a good flow right now,” noted Trillo. “People talk about his scoring, but he is helping out in so many ways. His defense is very underrated.He also has been passing the ball well.”
Trillo added things should only get better for the man made the top pick overall by Powerade in the 2011 Rookie Draft and acquired by Alaska in a complicated multi-player, three-team trade before the current season.
“As good as he is playing there is still room for improvement for Jayvee,” stated Trillo. “The real test will be this week, when we face the two hottest teams, Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee.”
There is time to savor Casio’s latest exploit, fashioned as it was against a talent-laden TNT crew led by reigning Most Valuable Player Jimmy Alapag and former MVP Kelly Williams.
Casio strung up 10 of his points in the fourth quarter through a four-point play and two more triples, almost single-handedly bringing Alaska back from a 72-83 deficit. But his best was for last.
Told by Trillo to make the call during the Aces’ last timeout, Casio got free of Alapag through a screen by Thoss, received the inbound from Dela Cruz and stretched in a layup past Williams for the deciding points.
The performance jacked Casio’s conference averages to 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.0 steals. And when he does improve further, that could only spell bad news for the rest of the field.
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