JIO Jalalon’s first breakout game of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup came at a right time, and that’s welcome news for Magnolia.
Jalalon had a fine series against Rain or Shine, including a 16-point (conference-high), six-assist, two-steal effort in the 96-86 Game 2 win on Thursday.
“I’m happy for Jio kasi ‘yung breakout game niya this conference, hindi pa talaga. Unti-unti naming nababalik ‘yung kumpiyansa ni Jio,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
Personal problems and even trade rumors marred the start of the conference for Jalalon, who had an inconsistent elimination round, at least in the scoring department with 5.9 a game, compared to 8.6 points last year.
At the start of the Rain or Shine series, Jalalon also contributed with 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists in the 81-70 win. In Game 2, Jalalon provided a spark. With Mark Barroca in foul trouble, Jalalon picked up the slack in the second half to score 10 points.
Victolero on Jio Jalalon overcoming problems
“At the start of the season, medyo nagkaproblema din siya. Hindi niya makuha ‘yung breakout game niya. Now, malaking tulong siya especially na-foul trouble si Mark. Siya ‘yung nag-lead sa amin hanggang sa fourth quarter,” said Victolero.
The Magnolia coach said the confidence of Jalalon will be a big boost as the Hotshots move to the semifinals where they will face either Meralco or NLEX.
“Sana magtuloy tuloy na ‘yung laro ni Jio,” Victolero said.
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