THE return of JVee Casio and Kevin Racal was exactly the spark Alaska needed to stay alive in the race to the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
With Casio and Racal back from long injury layoffs, the Aces pulled off a 92-77 win over Meralco to moved up to a share of sixth place with idle NLEX.
“For me and for our whole team, it’s nice to have JVee and K-Racs back,” Compton said. “They are obviously a little bit rusty and out of shape. I thought JVee came in and made some plays and K-Racs made some plays in the way that he usually does.”
Compton noted the importance of the win.
“Huge win for us honestly,” said Compton. “Kung natalo kami kanina, baka Boracay tayo lahat. I’m really just happy to get the win and see Sonny [Thoss], K-Racs, and JVee back, and Jeron [Teng] going 7 for 7 from the line. It was great.”
Casio scored 12 points in 16 minutes while Racal added nine points, including two three-pointers, in their first game back from foot and back injuries, respectively.
Casio said he wasn't rushed back by the Aces to boost their sagging playoff bid.
“Masaya na nakabalik. Important games pa naman ‘to. Kailangan namin talaga makuha para makapasok sa playoffs,” Casio said.
“’Yung medical staff namin, coaches, hindi ako pinilit bumalik. Hihintay ‘yung timeline. Pine-prepare ko naman ‘yung sarili ko para makapaglaro ng maayos,” said Casio.
Racal was also thrilled to make the comeback, saying his nine points in the game weren't an indication that he will no longer be focusing on his defense.
“Siyempre masaya kasi tagal din. Almost three months din ako na wala akong laro. One week pa lang ako nagpa-practice. Timing din dahil playoffs na. Kailangan every game, manalo kami."
"Ako hindi ko naman inisip ‘yung maka-contribute ako sa team sa scoring. Gusto ko matulungan 'yung team ko sa depensa kasi hindi naman nila ako masyadong aasahan sa firepower,” said Racal.