CHICAGO - Because love sometimes means letting go, divorces don't have to be messy; it can be cordial with a chance at happiness.
Make no mistake, Jvee Casio wasn't doing jumping jacks when Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso informed him around 8:50 am yesterday that he was traded to Blackwater, a dank, dark place where only losing - 19 straight so far - is being harvested.
But Casio, self-assured and tough as granite, wasn't crying, either.
"I understand the business." Jvee told me over the phone, his voice echoing the poise of a mature, well-mannered 35-year old professional.
PBA fans, especially those who cling too much to nostalgia and insist that Casio should finish out his career in Alaska after a nine-year run, have taken their outrage to social media.
Casio does not share those sentiments.
"I feel no anger nor bitterness towards Alaska. Just a lot of love and gratitude."
At some point in his tenure with the Aces, Jvee was a max player. With his hard-earned money he procured a two-storey house in Paranaque where he shelters his lovely wife of eight years, Jackie, and their three-year old daughter, Jaica.
A shiny, shimmering pair of Toyotas - a Rav4 and a Yaris - sit in his garage.
Raised well by customs broker parents - Al and Evelyn, who are rooted in Zamboanga and Surigao - Jvee has also invested wisely on real estate.
JVEE CASIO HAS SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ENMITY.
"Much respect to Boss Fred (Uytengsu). Alaska's winning culture starts with him and I was fortunate to be a part of that franchise and I will always cherish the championship we won there in 2013," he said.
As for coach Cariaso, the messenger who delivered the sticky, uncomfortable trade news message, Jvee had nothing but praise and admiration.
"He was always honest with me. An inspiration and a motivator."
Sure, there was some pain that came with the separation, but the uneasiness did not linger.
Jvee comes from a tight-knit family that shares their joys and commiserates with their sorrows. Older brother Jal, who played college ball at San Beda, older sister AJ, a registered nurse in Chicago, are among those he leans on in the face of life's trials.
Being at Blackwater, waking up to a new day and a new beginning, isn't just a job for JVee. It's another opportunity to shine, to demand the same excellence that defined his career path.
"I want to help Blackwater Bossing and coach Ariel (Vanguardia) in any way I can."
For a moment, after hearing yesterday's trade shocker, I was worried about how change might rattle a cornerstone player this late in his career.
Those apprehensions appear to be callously misplaced.
Jvee Casio is a fine, well-spoken young man with a La Salle education and a good head over his shoulders. He will make it anywhere.
With his high basketball IQ, and even higher character, Jvee's arrival could, at long last, usher the beginning of greater things at Blackwater.
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