Who is the best point guard in the Philippines today?
Anybody can make a good case about guys like Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, and Alex Cabagnot, but the guy on whom Im putting my money (at least for now) is none other than former Gilas starting playmaker and current ace of Alaska, JV Casio.
Right now, hes the top point guard in the PBA in terms of player efficiency (as calculated in PBA-Online.net). Look at these numbers:
Jayson Castro is tops in scoring and three-point shooting.
Alex Cabagnot is tops in assists and steals.
LA Tenorio is tops in rebounds.
But JV Casio is the best, most polished, all-around playmaker.
And, yeah, he was the biggest reason the Aces climbed out of a double-digit hole in the fourth quarter against erstwhile unbeaten Talk N Text last night.
The big questions, of course, is can the former Green Archer keep up his high level of play?
Game Recaps: AIR21 EXPRESS over PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS, 97-76
Air 21 resurrected its A-game on All Souls Day, spoiling what could have been a post-birthday celebration for Petron coach Olsen Racela.
Using a different starting unit, the Express grounded the Boosters for a surprisingly easy 97-76 triumph on Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Its one of those games where certain teams will have this kind of game, but its a long season, said Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren.
Still, I have to give credit to my players as we were able to defend well against Petron.
Air 21 had only won one game coming into the match against the powerhouse Petron squad, which was on a two-game winning streak.
But the Express kept the Boosters at bay from start to finish, neutralizing Petrons running game which was on display in its previous outing against the GlobalPort Batang Pier last Friday.
I was watching Petron and I found out theyre good whenever they have the ball and they would continue pushing. But we paid extra attention on their running game, which they used against GlobalPort.
Mark Isip, playing the starting power forward role for the Express, finished with 22 points and seven rebounds while Rob Reyes, playing for the first time against the team that traded him in the offseason, came off the bench to score 17 points and grab six rebounds in what was easily his finest game of the season.
Weve finally found the right starting unit. Our coaching staff made very good preparation and scouted Petron pretty well. We were able to maximize some mismatches. Were also a different Air 21 today, playing more aggressive and outworking our opponents. We had an advantage as we had five days off, said Pumaren.
The Express were able to post leads of 25 points in the fourth quarter, as Petron simply had no answer against the energized Air 21 side.
The Boosters were led by Arwind Santos 15 points and 14 rebounds, but the team shot only 34.2% from the field (26-of-76), and were beaten by the Express on second chance points, 15 to six.
ALASKA ACES over TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS, 94-92
JVee Casio caught fire, and not even the vaunted Talk N Text Tropang Texters could stop him.
The sophomore guard played one of the finest games of his young career, scoring 12 points in the final three minutes including the go-ahead layup that propelled the Aces to a hard-earned 94-92 triumph over erstwhile unbeaten Talk N Text in their Philippine Cup match Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Casios heroics came at a perfect time. In a minute-long stretch late in the game, he scored 10 straight points three three-pointers, including one four-point play to bring the Aces back against the Tropang Texters.
Alaska trailed by as much as 12 points, 83-71, in the fourth quarter, before Casio, Cyrus Baguio, and Calvin Abueva scored the final 23 points for the Aces.
Casios last basket, a driving scoop shot to elude the long arms of Kelly Williams put the Aces ahead, 94-92 with two seconds left in the game.
I have to give it to JVee. The game was out of hand, but he simply refused to lose, said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, whose team notched its fifth straight victory to improve its win-loss record to 5-2.
He made us look good. Games like this one builds character.
The Aces still needed to make a stop in Talk N Texts final play. Jimmy Alapag, normally the teams go-to-guy at the clutch, was assigned to do the inbound from the sidelines. Larry Fonacier came off a screen and got the pass. He was perfectly squared for a short jumper but his shot went in and out as time expired. The Tropang Texters perfect record was finally blemished by the resilient Aces for the first time in seven games this conference.
It was the first win by Alaska over Talk N Text since the 2010 Fiesta Conference.
Crowds packed the Araneta Coliseum tonight for Manila Clasico in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup. Alaska blew Blackwater out in the opener before Ginebra pounced on Star to close out the action-packed evening. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): ALASKA ACES over BLACKWATER ELITE, 107-87 The Alaska Aces pounced on an hobbled Blackwater Elite squad as they scored a comfortable 107-87 victory in the Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. LaDontae Henton scored... [read more]
Crowds packed the Araneta Coliseum tonight for Manila Clasico in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup. Alaska blew Blackwater out in the opener before Ginebra pounced on Star to close out the action-packed evening.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
ALASKA ACES over BLACKWATER ELITE, 107-87 The Alaska Aces pounced on an hobbled Blackwater Elite squad as they scored a comfortable 107-87 victory in the Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
LaDontae Henton scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Alaska, which led by as many 30 points in the second half.
Kevin Racal shot a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range to finish with 12 points while Ping Exciminiano added 11 markers. Chris Banchero only scored eight points but dished out 12 assists in the game.
Alaska, which has struggled this conference, won for just the third time in eight games this conference. With the win, though, they are now just half a game behind sixth place with three teams tied at 3-4.
Blackwater (1-7) continued to languish at the bottom of the standings after dropping a sixth straight game. The Elite continued to miss the services of import Eric Dawson, out with back spasms, as well as Mike Cortez (strained calf) and JP Erram (ACL).
Lines of the Game: LaDontae Henton (ALA) - 33pts, 8rebs, 3asts, 1stl, 1blk, 2 trples, 14/21 FGs. Art Dela Cruz (BLA) - 23pts, 5rebs, 3asts, 4stls, 11/16 FGs.
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over STAR HOTSHOTS, 116-103 The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings fell behind early but proved that 'never-say-die' is alive and well as they came back in a big way to put one over sister team and Manila Clasico rival Star, 116-103, in the Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Import Justin Brownlee led the Kings with 38 big points while Japeth Aguilar added 21 markers, including several dunks that pleased the crowd to no end.
Sol Mercado added 14 points and a game-high seven assists while LA Tenorio added 13.
Star opened the game with a huge run and took leads of as high as 17 but crumbled in the second half as Ginebra came charging back in the third and fourth quarters, where the Kings outscored them by 21 points.
Ginebra improved to 6-2 while adding to the woes of Star, which dropped down to 1-6 in a disappointing campaign this conference.
Lines of the Game: Justin Brownlee (GIN) - 38pts, 8rebs, 2asts, 1blk, 5 triples, 16/26 FGs. Joel Wright (STA) - 31pts, 13rebs, 3asts, 4stls, 12/22 FGs.
Meralco disposed of sister team NLEX and SMB survived Alaska sans an import two days ago in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 101-95 The Meralco Bolts got a solid outing from import Allen Durham and a surprising boost from point guard Baser Amer late in the game as they hurdled sister team NLEX, 101-95, in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Durham finished with 31 poin... [read more]
Meralco disposed of sister team NLEX and SMB survived Alaska sans an import two days ago in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 101-95 The Meralco Bolts got a solid outing from import Allen Durham and a surprising boost from point guard Baser Amer late in the game as they hurdled sister team NLEX, 101-95, in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Durham finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in another productive performance for Meralco, which improved to 5-3 for the conference after a second straight win.
Cliff Hodge added 17 points while four other Bolts - Jared Dillinger, Kelly Nabong, Chris Newsome and Bryan Faundo - all finished in double figures as well.
Amer, meanwhile, tallied seven points and seven assists. He started out 0-for-6 from the field before scoring seven straight points in the last minute and a half to help secure the win for the Bolts.
NLEX (3-4) was led by high-scoring import Henry Walker, who finished with 38 points and nine boards in a losing effort.
Lines of the Game: Allen Durham (MER) - 31pts, 17rebs, 5asts, 2 triples, 10/17 FGs. Henry Walker (NLX) - 38pts, 9rebs, 5asts, 2blks, 1stl, 8 triples, 14/26 FGs.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over ALASKA ACES, 106-103 The San Miguel Beermen, playing without an import, leaned on two-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo to overcome the Alaska Aces, 106-103, and pick up a crucial win in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Fajardo scored 37 points - including 16 in a dominant fourth quarter - and grabbed 14 rebounds to pace San Miguel, which played without injured import Arizona Reid.
Alex Cabagnot added 17 points and made two big three-pointers in the endgame while Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
San Miguel moved up to 5-2 while the struggling Aces dropped down to 2-5.
Alaska import LaDontae Henton had a huge game with 45 points and 15 rebounds but could not make a winning shot in the end.
Lines of the Game: June Mar Fajardo (SMB) - 37pts, 14rebs, 3asts, 3blks, 1stl, 12/17 FGs. LaDontae Henton (ALA) - 45pts, 15rebs, 1stl, 1ast, 2 triples, 19/39 FGs.
Sanen Neophoenix (B League) strengthened their roster with addition of 31-year old American forward Robert Dozier (206-102kg-85, college: Memphis). He played most recently at Alaska Aces in Filipino PBA league. Dozier managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 15 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 19.9ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.1apg and 1.9bpg. He also played that season for Le Mans in ProA where in 10 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.3spg and 1.3bpg. Dozier also p... [read more]
Sanen Neophoenix (B League) strengthened their roster with addition of 31-year old American forward Robert Dozier (206-102kg-85, college: Memphis). He played most recently at Alaska Aces in Filipino PBA league. Dozier managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 15 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 19.9ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.1apg and 1.9bpg. He also played that season for Le Mans in ProA where in 10 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.3spg and 1.3bpg. Dozier also played 7 games in Eurocup where he had 8.9ppg, 5.1rpg and 1.0spg. He also spent pre-season at PAOK Thessaloniki (A1) in Greek league that year. In 2009 Dozier was drafted by Miami Heat (NBA) in second round (60th overall). He attended University of Memphis and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. Dozier received Asia-Basket.com All-PBA Commissioner's Cup 2nd Team award in 2016. He is quite experienced player. Thanks to Dozier's pro career he managed to play on three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America) in four different countries. Dozier has played previously professionally in Spain (Sevilla), France (Cholet Basket), Greece (Kolossos) and United Arab Emirates (Al Shabab). The scouts decsribe him following way:
(by Adam Ganeles for NBADraft.net in 2009)
Has terrific hands and reads passing angles well, notching a theft a game for his collegiate career ... Lateral quickness is excellent. Has shown the ability to guard smaller defenders and pressure ball handlers.
Often overpowered at the defensive end but made up for it with movement and quick leaping ability ... Finishes adequately at the offensive end, but must add strength.
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