EVEN after producing his first ever career triple double, JVee Casio still credited team effort for Alaska’s crucial 99-95 win over Rain or Shine Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The 5-foot-10 guard tallied 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Aces sealed a place in the playoffs with their seventh win in 11 games.
But he was quick to played down his individual feat, stressing a total team effort enabled the Aces to survive without Gilas players Calvin Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz.
“I think yung team effort yun ang mas glaring doon kaysa sa triple double,” said the 31-year-old Casio, who was playfully called Russell Westbrook by teammate Ping Exciminiano.
“Yung win lang going to the playoffs gusto lang namin yung confidence namin mabuo.”
Casio wasn’t aware he already accomplished a triple double during the course of the match as he was more preoccupied guiding the Aces in a grind-out battle against the Elasto Painters that saw 33 lead changes and nine deadlocks.
The former top rookie pick from De La Salle scored nine of his total output in the fourth quarter including the two free throws that gave Alaska a 98-95 lead with 11 seconds left.
Coach Alex Compton was surprised Casio recorded a triple double but never had any doubt that his starting guard can do it.
“It’s good coaching,” Compton jokingly said.
Turning serious, the Alaska coach it was really a relief that Casio stepped up in an all-important game for the Aces, who likewise missed the services of injured guard Chris Banchero.
“JVee is our leader and we needed his game,” said Compton. “We all know Jvee is special. All of those (rebounds) are above the rim, that’s why he’s our captain.”