Header Ads Widget

Jalalon PBA-ready says Ayo

Aldrin Alejo
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--As the starters for the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup final were introduced on Sunday, stadium announcer Rolly Manlapaz described Arellano's Jio Jalalon as the "best point guard in collegiate basketball today".

Jalalon somewhat proved that claim as he exploded for 32 points, five rebounds, six assists, and seven steals for the Chiefs in the said game.

La Salle coach Aldin Ayo lauded the King Chief for the impressive showing.

"Ang laki ng in-improve ni Jio. Talagang ripe na siya for the pros," said the mentor, who last year saw more of Jalalon's capabilities during his coaching stint with Letran in the NCAA.

Jalalon's stint with the Gilas Cadets in the 2015 SEA Games and the 2016 SEABA Stankovic Cup helped a lot in his drastic improvement, not to mention the times that he also trains alongside Gilas' first team composed of PBA stars.

"Mabilis si Jio. Nagke-create siya ng opportunities para sa teammates niya," Ayo described how Jalalon can be a potential first round pick in the 2016 PBA Draft barring any plan of him skipping it due to the hectic national team calendar brought about by the new FIBA World Cup qualifying format as per reports.

Luckily for the Green Archers, however, they survived the challenge of Jalalon and took home their second FilOil Cup title in three years and fourth overall with an 86-74 win against the Chiefs.

[Related Story: La Salle staves off Jalalon's early barrage, claims fourth FilOil title]

After letting Jalalon scorch for 18 points in the first quarter alone, the defense limited him to only 14 the rest of the way.

"Nag-stick kami sa game plan namin. Yung first quarter, nangyari yun kasi hindi kami nag-execute sa game plan namin. May space pa kaming binibigay kay Jio," Ayo told how their patent pressure defense had to be adjusted in the last half-hour just to contain Jalalon.

About the win in general, Ayo said, "Nakita doon yung composure at willingness to win."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno