By Jonas Terrado
(Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
6:30 p.m. – Alaska vs Magnolia
Jio Jalalon is hell-bent on performing well in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals after his first foray in the championship stage ended on a sour note earlier this season.
The sophomore guard of the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok delivered an all-around performance in Wednesday’s 100-84 win over the Alaska Aces at the Mall of Asia Arena, posting seven points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and four steals.
Jalalon is looking to keep his consistent play the rest of the series after a rough outing in this season’s Philippine Cup Finals where the Hotshots were beaten in five games by the San Miguel Beermen.
“I felt that I failed to give my veteran teammates the help they needed against San Miguel, that is why I vowed to give my best this time regardless of the outcome,” Jalalon said in Filipino.
Magnolia was seeking a 2-0 lead over Alaska in Game 2 being played at presstime at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Game 3 is slated tomorrow evening at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Against San Miguel, Jalalon averaged 5.6 points on 23-percent shooting with 4.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals.
He was quickly a factor once the latest finals series got underway, helping Magnolia race to a 15-0 start before foiling multiple tries by Alaska to launch a comeback.
Jalalon complemented the superb play of veteran guard Mark Barroca, who posted 16 points and six steals as Magnolia flaunted its backcourt strength in a big way.
Magnolia also have Paul Lee and Justin Melton that can benefit in coach Chito Victolero’s scheme of things.
Lee provided a bit of the scoring punch with 14 points while Melton added seven points even as provided some defensive presence that frustrated Alaska’s backcourt of Chris Banchero, Simon Enciso and Ping Exciminiano.
“We can go 4-5 guards deep, and everybody plays a different type of basketball,” said import Romeo Travis. “But it all fits in a team flow.”