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Co aims to control Jalalon in win-or-go-home tiff

Jio Jalalon (with the ball) is a marked man in Arellano's do-or-die match-up with Mapua. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Mapua coach Atoy Co said on Friday that there is one way to eliminate fast-rising Arellano from Final Four contention.

"Pag hindi namin ma-control si [Jio] Jalalon, matatalo kami," the PBA legend told the press after the Cardinals pulled away late to beat the EAC Generals.

Letran's win against Perpetual Help later in the night assured the imminence of the Mapua-Arellano wildcard playoff on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

"Pag-iisipan namin how to stop Jalalon," Co, himself a former national team member, vowed for the said match against the SEA Games gold medalist-led Arellano team, which is also mentored by another ex-Team Pilipinas player, Jerry CodiƱera.

The winner of the game between the Cardinals and the Chiefs, scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip-off, will earn the last Final Four ticket and will take on the JRU Heavy Bombers in another playoff on Friday, this time for their respective seeding come the semifinals proper next week.

On the other hand, the win by the Knights forced a rubber match with the San Beda Red Lions for the top seed at 4 p.m. also on Tuesday.

The Tuesday playoffs will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena, which will also be the host of all the remaining playoff matches.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno