JONG Baloria is glad to join an elite list of players in the regional league MPBL, but he is eager to get back into action and try to achieve bigger goals with the Makati Super Crunch.
The former PBA player became the fourth member of MPBL's 1,000-points club, joining San Juan’s John Wilson, Marikina’s Yves Sazon, and Davao Occidental’s Mark Yee, as Makati forced a decider against San Juan in the North Division Finals of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup.
"Sobrang laking blessing sa akin, pero di ko naman inisip eh," he said. "Kumbaga sabi ko, 'Lord kung ibibigay mo naman saakin, nasasayo na, bonus na lang sa akin.' Basta nag-focus ako sa game namin."
Limited to just two points in Game One, Baloria quickly bounced back and towed Makati to a 91-88 Game Two victory.
The Knights defense could not shackle the 29-year-old for too long as he lit up for 10 of his 18 points in the final frame, while also grabbing four rebounds to help the Super Crunch extend the series to a decider.
The league faces a longer shutdown, however, with government restricting mass gatherings including arts, entertainment and recreational activities.
"Off ako nung Game One. Nitong Game Two, sobrang luwag nila sa akin unlike nung last game na naka-stay sila sa akin. Kaya kada pasa sa akin, nasho-shoot ko naman,” said the Perpetual product.
What matters for the Tubod, Lanao del Norte native, though, is helping his side complete the upset as Makati seeks to advance to the MBPL National Finals.
"Gusto kong manalo kami," he said.