JIO Jalalon said Mark Barroca has been a big influence to his play particularly in Game One of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jalalon came close to a triple-double in Magnolia’s 100-84 win over Alaska when he tallied seven points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists in the series opener.
Jalalon, 26, attributed his play to Barroca, who had 16 points and six steals along with big plays in the fourth quarter.
“Nakakahawa si Kuya Mark lalo na kapag kami ‘yung magkasabay. Nahahawa din talaga ako. ‘Yung ginagawa niya, ginagaya ko,” said Jalalon, who with Barroca has formed one of the best guard duos in the league.
With the Hotshots’ lead down to eight points, the 32-year-old Barroca clustered five straight points to once again give Magnolia control of the match-up.
“Grabe. Kasi nga nung nakita ko na eight points na ‘yung lamang, parang nagalit na siya. Dun ko nakita ‘yung Mark Barroca nung dati nung high school ako na napanood ko sa TV,” said Jalalon.
The former Arellano star said he is determined to perform better in his second stint in the championship series after Magnolia lost to San Miguel in the Philippne Cup.
“Eto ‘yung second finals appearance ko. Nung una vs. San Miguel, hindi ako nakatulong sa mga kuyas ko. Sabi ko nga, ibibigay ko lahat ng best ko kahit anong mangyari,” said Jalalon.
Jalalon also said the break to give way to the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers became beneficial to the team to rest their weary bodies and work on their chemistry even better.
“Doon kami naka-advance kasi ‘yung import namin nakapagpahinga kami ng two weeks. Maganda mga practice namin. Si Romeo (Travis), nagre-rehab. Maganda ‘yung chemistry namin,” said Jalalon.