Joseph Evans Casio came at a not so auspicious time. The Green Archers was still feeling the pangs from their championship loss to bitter rivals, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, the previous season. And with a rookie-laden lineup which includes the former Red Cub, the Green Archers missed the UAAP Finals for the first time since 1994.
He came at a time when rookies were not given much hype as much as what we are seeing now. Nonetheless, JV as he has come to be known, quietly earned the praise not only of the Green supporters but also of the regular UAAP spectator. Despite the presence of a much vaunted rivals like Ateneo’s Chris Tiu and Ford Arao, Adamson’s Ken Bono, UP’s Marvin Cruz, JV romped off with the Rookie of the Year honors.
He came at a time when the Green Archers had the spectacular and flashy duo of Joseph Yeo and Macmac Cardona. For years, he played in the shadows of his superstar teammates. No complaints, no buts. He responded as a loyal team player. But the superstar in him is waiting to be unraveled. In the do-or-die Game 3 of the 2004 UAAP Championship Series vs. the FEU Tamaraws, JV nailed a crucial three-point shot in the dying seconds of the ballgame, reminiscent of Ren-Ren Ritualo’s gameturning triple in the 1998 Season.
Yes, JV is indeed the next Archer to watch. But just when JV’s star is starting to shine brightly, another controversy hit De La Salle that resulted in the one-year suspension of the Green Archers from the UAAP. Sadly, the clouds seemed to have dimmed JV’s star.
And in 2007, after a one-year hiatus from the UAAP, the De La Salle Green Archers vindicated their suspension and won the UAAP crown. JV Casio lived up to everyone’s hope and expectation and spearheaded the Green Archers’ fairy-tale win over the heavily favored UE Red Warriors. JV’s star is shining brighter than ever. He was named in the UAAP Mythical Team of Season 70 and Finals Most Valuable Player together with Cholo Villanueva. Despite all the accolades, JV remained the humble and quiet cager that he is.
JV vowed to return to lead DLSU in its quest for a back-to-back championship. He did not reneg on that promise. He took up Masters in Environmental Science and wore the Green and White jersey for the very last season. JV led the Archers and guided the young La Salle squad game in and game out. Delivering on his promise, the Green Archers’ team captain steered La Salle to its 13th finals appearance in 15 UAAP seasons.
No matter what the outcome of this year’s Finals will be, JV Casio is one superstar the entire Lasallian community will miss. His surname might have been an abbreviation of the constellation, Cassiopeia, which contains one of the brightest stars in the galaxy, because for sure, wherever Casio may be, his star will forever shine brightly.
JV will be remembered for his invaluable contributions to the team throughout his collegiate career. We hope that the fire and determination that he has always shown since his rookie year would inspire those who will be taking over his place in the seasons to come.
Thank you JV.