Zero to hero JVee Casio admits playing sick during two subpar performances for Alaska
Although not yet fully recovered, Jvee Casio redeemed himself from two straight scoreless performances after finishing with nine points in Alaska's 87-76 win over San Miguel in Game Six of the Finals. Jerome Ascano

THE cat was finally out of the bag Sunday after JVee Casio admitted playing sick in the course of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals between Alaska and San Miguel.

The third-year point guard disclosed in the aftermath of the Aces’ 87-76 win in Game Six that his subpar showing in the best-of-seven title series had something to do with stomach problems and sinusitis.

But at the same time, Casio said he’s slowly getting better and recovering his old form, just in time for the winner-take-all Game Seven set on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Actually, kinalimutan ko na. I just forget about it,” said Casio, who finally broke out of a scoring slump after finishing with nine points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field in the morale-boosting win that evened the best-of-seven title series at 3-3.

“Yung sinus game day siya, and some stomach upset caused problem in Game Four. Medyo recovering pa nung Game Five, pero it’s no excuse. Kaya nga ayokong sabihin,” said the deadly gunner from De La Salle.

Prior to Game Six, Casio was held scoreless by San Miguel for two consecutive games, marking only the second time he failed to score in his pro career. During that span, the Alaska playmaker was a combined 0-of-12 from the field.

He then missed his first three attempts in Sunday’s game before finally connecting early in the third period by scoring five straight points for the Aces and a 57-46 lead.

“Nung naka-shoot, it was a good feeling,” said a smiling Casio, who sat beside his coach Alex Compton during the customary post-game interview.

“But again, it’s not the shots. Coach Alex talked to me to just play according to my capabilities. It’s how I can help the team either in offense or defense, that’s what I’m thinking of,” said Casio.

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“Coach Alex stressed to me to just help the team out and contribute any which way I can.”

Compton admitted preventing Casio from talking about his health situation to members of the press during the time when he was struggling.

“I put a gag order on the guy that Jvee was sick. He’s sick for two games. That’s why I said family business muna,” said the American mentor, who played coy when he was earlier asked about what’s bothering Casio following two sub-par games.

“But he’s getting better, look at him now. He’s particularly ‘guwapo’ today,” said the Alaska coach.

And hopefully, that holds up until the decisive Game Seven.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos