JIO Jalalon was aware he was nearing a triple-double with the game against Myanmar still not over.
But he’s not one to put personal interest above team glory.
It may came unnoticed Jalalon was four rebounds short of completing a triple-double in Gilas Pilipinas’ 147-40 rout of Myanmar in a rousing Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship debut Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The rookie guard of the Star Hotshots finished with 13 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds in the runaway win by the defending champions during the opener of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Jalalon doesn’t mind missing the milestone for as long as the national team won.
“Hindi ko naman iniisip yun. Iniisip ko lang lagi yung makatulong sa team na manalo,” said Jalalon, one of only three cadets included by coach Chot Reyes in his final 12-man lineup.
“Actually late ko na nakita (triple double). Sayang din, pero hindi ko talaga inisip.”
Jalalon shot 6 of 7 from the field and played 17 minutes in his first game playing in front of a Filipino home crowd as member of the national team.
That he almost came away with a triple-double made the experience even more special.
“Sobrang sarap maglaro lalong lalo na at nandito ka sa bansa mo,” he stressed. “Makikita mo kasi yung mga kababayan mo na talagang sumusuporta.”
The former Arellano University star said the numbers won’t be possible without the help of his ‘Kuyas,’ who he said backed him up in his debut game for Gilas.
Jalalon vows to play the same if given the opportunity anew by Reyes in the team’s succeeding games in the tournament.
“Pag gagamitin ako papakita pa rin ako na agresibo ako,” he stressed. “Energy lang ako talaga.
Triple double or not.