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Jio Jalalon proved anew why he was tabbed to practice with Gilas Pilipinas as the cat-quick guard guided Arellano to a rousing 94-85 win over National University yesterday to book a finals slot in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.
The 5-10 Jalalon torched the nets with game-high 34 points, a feat that gave head coach Jerry Codinera another reason to flash that boyish smile of his during the post-game chat with scribes at Filoil Center in San Juan.
Codinera had expressed concern over the prospects of fatigue affecting his players as the Chiefs had been playing daily after ruling the Fr. Martin’s Cup last Thursday.
“I just told my players to find the best way to rest even though I don’t how they will do it,” said Codinera.
The Chiefs entered the final frame armed with a 67-60 lead but the Bulldogs managed to threaten at 86-83 in the dying minutes but Jalaon came to their rescue with six straight points to settle the issue.
Jalalon admitted that the grueling schedule has taken its toll but being a player of high grade, he still found a way to display the moves that earned the admiration of Gilas taskmaster Tab Baldwin.
“Basta nag-drive na lang ako ng nag-drive,” said Jalalon, who also had six assists and three feeds in 33 minutes of play.
Arellano will meet the winner of the La Salle-Ateneo game that was being played at presstime.
Still, Codinera doesn’t seem to care and is looking forward to adding the Filoil to his resume, stressing that winning this cagefest will add luster to the school’s reputation.
“Itabi muna yang NCAA, mas importante muna itong Filoil,” added Codinera.
Arellano (94)—Jalalon 34, Salado 18, Nicholls 11, Flores 7, Enriquez 6, Gumaru 6, Canete 5, Meca 4, Villoria 3, Holts 0, Cadavis 0, Gupilan 0, Aguilar 0.
NU (85)—Aroga 24, Morido 18, Abatayo 11, Mosqueda 9, Diputado 6, Go 6, Salim 5, Yu 2, Aquino 2, Labing-isa 2, Salem 0, Gallego 0, Cauilan 0, Lastimosa 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 48-39, 67-60, 94-85.