THE Alaska Aces don’t seem to miss former star LA Tenorio. Not with the way JVee Casio has been playing.
The sophomore guard acquired by the Aces in a complicated three-team, multi-player trade that sent Tenorio to Barangay Ginebra during the offseason, has this early shown that he is capable of filling the big shoes left by the former face of the Uytengsu-owned franchise.
The Aces are currently the hottest team in the season-opening Philippine Cup after racking up five straight wins, including a 94-92 thriller over reigning champion Talk `N Text in a game where Casio proved how valuable he is to the Aces.
Last year’s No. 1 overall rookie pick poured in 25 big points, including the game-winner in the final two seconds that dealt the Tropang Texters their first loss in the tournament.
Casio laced his performance by going a remarkable 6-of-10 from the three-point region, and issued five assists, as he remains one of the most consistent players for the Aces with averages of 18.6 points and almost five assists per outing.
His 14-point fourth-quarter explosion against the Tropang Texters also earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period October 29 to November 4 - a choice Alaska coach Luigi Trillo fully approves.
"JVee is in a good flow right now," said 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."
The hotshot guard out of De La Salle became the second straight Ace to be selected for the honor after rookie Calvin Abueva, who won the honor just before the Halloween holidays.
Trillo added things can only get better for the former Smart Gilas mainstay from here.
"As good as he is playing, there is still room for improvement for JVee," stated Trillo. "The real test will be this week, when we face the two hottest teams, Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee."