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From frequent TV viewer as a kid, Jalalon's dream to play for Star now fulfilled with draft selection

Jio Jalalon showed brilliance by winning the PBA Draft Combine MVP award. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The Purefoods franchise was among the teams that waxed hot during the 90's.

A young kid named Jiovani Jalalon was among those who witnessed the team's glory days anchored upon Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codiñera.

Two decades—and a chance to play under Codiñera's tutelage at Arellano—later, the spitfire point guard is set to suit up for the club currently known as the Star Hotshots.

"Parang pangarap na natupad na napunta ako dito kasi dati, ito yung pinapanood ko na team," Jalalon described to Dugout Philippines the feeling after he was selected by Star as its Gilas draft selection during the PBA Draft at the Robinson's Place Manila Atrium on Sunday.

[Related Story: Gilas players distributed in special draft]

However, there were late speculations on where Jio will actually end up as reports surfaced about a swap of Gilas picks in which he was supposed to be with Ginebra, something San Miguel sports director and Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua denied.

[Related Story: No Ferrer-Jalalon trade says Chua]

But for Jalalon, ending up with the Barangay would have been fine to him as well.

"Di naman ako namimili ng team. Kahit saan ako, masaya na ako," he continued.

Now part of a loaded point guard rotation at the Hotshots camp, Jalalon assured, "Kung gagamitin ako ni Coach [Jason Webb], ibibigay ko kung anong meron akong talent na nawala sa kanila."

He also hopes, "Sana maturuan ako ng mga kuya kung anong mga techniques ang ginagawa nila."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno