Arellano out to seal semis spot early in case Jalalon gets Gilas callup for Fiba Asia Challenge
Arellano coach Jerry Codinera believes Kent Salado will be able to step up in case Jio Jalalon leaves for the Fiba Asia Challenge. Freddie Dionisio

ARELLANO is already preparing for the possibility of riding out the eliminations of NCAA Season 92 without their driver, or more specifically 'the Bus Driver' Jio Jalalon.

And the plan is simple: win as many games as possible with Jalalon around.

Jalalon is part of the Gilas cadet pool that has started its buildup for the upcoming Fiba Asia Challenge, which will take place from September 9 to 18 in Tehran, Iran.

Incidentally, the Fiba Asia Challenge will coincide with the late stretch in the second round of NCAA Season 92, even as the league is yet to determine the specific schedule.

Arellano coach Jerry Codinera plans to speak to Jalalon about the situation.

“May Fiba Asia. I don’t know ‘yung plans ni Jio. They might leave for Iran. We will talk about it, ‘yung schedule nung second round. ‘Yun na lang (ang sinusubukan namin gawin), to get as many wins as we can kasi we don’t know what will happen sa second round,” said Codinera.

However, Jalalon said he has not given any thought about the situation, but the star guard said he could possibly stay if there will be a lot of games that he will missed.

“Pinag-uusapan namin ni coach. Kung maraming games, stay na lang siguro ako sa Arellano,” said Jalalon.

Codinera has an able backup driver in Kent Salado, yet he still hopes to have his dynamic backcourt duo for the stretch run.

“Ayoko isipin eh kasi very vital sa amin si Jiovani. Nandyan naman si Kent (Salado) pero iba siyempre si Jiovani and Salado. If we can have them both, gusto ko ‘yun,” said Codinera.

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