GILAS Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes and guard Terrence Romeo were among the people who were left impressed by Jio Jalalon's all-around effort and efficiency in the recently concluded Southeast Asian Basketball (Seaba) Championship.
Add the best point guard in Asia to that list.
Jayson Castro echoed Reyes’ praise on the pint-sized Jalalon as the guard who stood out during the week-long showpiece at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"Kita mo naman yung performance ni Jio, di ba. Hindi lang scoring. Even sa defense, sa kanya nag-start kasi yung pressure nga," Castro said of Jalalon, who averaged 7.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists (second among all players in Seaba) to help Gilas complete a sweep of the tournament.
"Ang tawag nga namin, one-man press. Kasi kaya niya talagang i-press yung ball-handler ng kalaban. At the same time, yung awareness, yung assists — talagang fit siya sa system."
Castro added that Jalalon only needs to improve his decision-making to reach his potential.
"Actually, konti na lang eh. Nandun na yun — nasa sa kanya na. Siguro yung decision-making sa mga situations na lang," he said.
Still, Castro showed why he remains the standard among point guards in the tournament with his explosive performance in Gilas’ 97-64 rout of Indonesia in the final game.
The Gilas skipper asserted his might and led the team's attack with 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
"Kailangan kong, yun nga, i-lead ‘yung teammates ko para makita nilang aggressive ako," he said.
Right now, though, Castro is shifting his focus to his mother team TnT which returns to action on Saturday in Legazpi City, Albay.
“Siguro focus muna sa mother teams namin ngayon. Back to training na uli," he said.