Watching Alaska go down 0-3 against Rain or Shine in their best-of-seven PBA Commissioner’s Cup titular showdown adds more pain to injured playmaker JVee Casio.
But the wily 5-foot-9 guard is convinced all is not lost for the Aces, who will try to rewrite history starting on Game 4 this Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Mahirap na ganu’n ang result ng game. But I still trust my teammates on the court and I know they know what they are doing. I give my 100 percent support sa kanila, I believe na kaya pa rin nila,” said Casio following the Aces’ 108-112 setback in Game 3 against the red-hot shooting Elasto Painters on Wednesday night at the Big Dome.
Still recuperating from a bone bruise on his right knee that has sidelined for the rest of the mid-season tourney, Casio, 29, urged his teammates not to dwell on what if’s and what could have been’s, saying they need to shift their focus on thriving on do-or-die situation starting in two days’ time.
“We have to accept this (loss). Next game, we have to win. That’s an all-important game. Nangyari na ‘to and we just have to focus on the next game,” said the former La Salle standout.
For the third straight match, the Elasto Painters sizzled from the field anew, knocking down half of their 72 attempts, spiked by a finals record-tying 15 triples.
And Casio believes the Aces might have just given the Painters enough confidence on their offensive attack.
“It’s tough. We gave them the confidence in the last two games and ngayon lumabas,” he said.
“We tried to do something different but hindi siguro na-execute well ng team. And it showed nitong game. But I know my teammates, they work hard. Disappointed ang team ngayon, I think everyone. But we have to accept it and move forward for the next game.”
Although he’s more focused on doing strength and rehabilitation exercises on his injured knee since playing for only five games in this conference before being ruled out the rest of the way, Casio added he’s still helping the Aces in one way or another.
“Andu’n naman ako palagi sa practices at sa mga games. Again my all out support, nasa kanila pa,” he said. “We have to look at this collectively and we’ll work on it collectively.” – By Jerome Lagunzad
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