Jio Jalalon stares blankly toward uncertain future after Chiefs again come up short
Arellano coach Jerry Codinera has given Jio Jalalon a vote of confidence despite shaky performances late in both games of the finals against San Beda. Freddie Dionisio

JIO Jalalon was a picture of disappointment after Arellano's title bid in the NCAA Season 92 seniors basketball finals once again came up short.

Jalalon scored 19 points and had 10 assists for the Chiefs on Tuesday in hopes of forcing a rubber match. But San Beda, aided by a Jalalon error, made the decisive surge in the endgame to put away an 83-73 victory and wrap up another NCAA championship. 

The Arellano star, largely regarded as the finest guard in college basketball today, stood by his lonesome at their own end of the court as the Chiefs watched the Red Lions celebrate the championship after beating Arellano for the fifth time in as many meetings this season.

Jalalon later politely declined to speak to when asked to be interviewed on the court.

[See San Beda Red Lions back as NCAA champs]

But there were really no need for words as Jalalon stared blankly towards an uncertain future, after another campaign where the Chiefs failed to deliver at the big stage.

The 22-year-old Jalalon is being eyed to become part of the Gilas cadet program, and the commitment could dictate whether he will return to his college team or not next season for another shot at an elusive title.

Jalalon finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals in Game One but, like on Tuesday, he made a crucial error while dealing with cramps with the match on the line as the Chiefs went down in defeat, 85-88. 

Nevertheless, Arellano coach Jerry Codinera said is satisfied with the effort of his big star.

“Wala na akong mahihiling pa,” said Codinera.

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