HIGH-FLYER Cyrus Baguio played clutch roles in Alaska’s back-to-back wins this week to earn for himself the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the period Feb. 11 to 17.
Though Baguio’s two-game average of 13.5 points pales in comparison to Petron Blaze’s Jay Washington’s 16.5 points in two games and Rain or Shine’s Ryan Arana’s 20 points in a 91-82 win over Meralco, he got the votes because he delivered when the Aces needed him most.
The 32-year-old Baguio’s crunch-time heroics enabled the Aces to beat back Meralco and Barako Bull.
With the Bolts threatening the Aces at 64-65, Baguio combined with Robert Dozier and Calvin Abueva in a fiery windup that gave the Aces an 85-81 victory last Wednesday.
In a similar nail-biting 77-73 conquest of erstwhile unbeaten Barako Bull last Sunday, Baguio again grabbed a share of the spotlight by stealing from Jonas Villanueva and converting a layup to move Alaska away from the fangs of defeat.
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo is all praises for his prized guard-forward, whose buzzer-beating layup also provided the difference in an 83-81 squeaker over Rain or Shine last Feb. 9.
“Cyrus is one guy who has been consistent for us since the last conference,” Trillo said. “He just plays. He is low maintenance and is very coachable.”
What’s more Baguio’s game continues to evolve, added Trillo.
“His turnovers (2.6 per game) are at an all-time low and that is a testament to the hard work he is putting in to embrace our system,” said Trillo. “What’s amazing is his willingness to take the hardest defensive task. I love Cy.”
With three wins in as many outings, the Aces are on top of the leaderboard and the Iligan City-born Baguio is foremost among those Trillo expects to keep them there.