Gilas cadet Jiovani Jalalon atones for poor debut with a double-double effort in Chiefs' win over Pirates
Arellano's Jiovani Jalalon had 20 points and 12 rebounds against Lyceum. Dante Peralta

FOLLOWING a bad start to NCAA Season 91, Arellano star Jiovani Jalalon took it upon himself to bounce back strong on Friday against Lyceum.

Jalalon atoned for his poor game on opening day by notching a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds in Arellano’s 80-78 victory over Lyceum at The Arena in San Juan.

Against Jose Rizal last Saturday, the Gilas cadet finished with only four points as he cited the shoulder injury sustained during the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore for his sub-par game.

Although he pegged himself at 80 percent fit, Jalalon said he came to the game against Lyceum not thinking about the injury anymore as he focused on leading Arellano to its first win this season.

“Hindi ko na lang iniisip,” Jalalon told reporters. “Hindi ako puwedeng pa-baby baby sa court. Pinapalakas ko na lang sarili ko.”

As early as the first half, Jalalon already showed his top form by contributing 12 points, nine assists, and three steals as the Chiefs opened a 51-35 lead at halftime.

“Nakakahiya kasi ako ‘yung nagdadala sa kanila. Sabi ko rin sa kanila, tulungan tayo,” said Jalalon.

The national team player, however, stressed the Chiefs were able to follow the game plan of coach Jerry Codinera this time, resulting in the win against the Pirates.

“Sa first game, kaya kami natambakan kasi hindi namin nasunod ‘yung gusto ni coach. Ngayon, nagawa namin,” said Jalalon.

Here's a video of the interview with Jalalon after the game:

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