JIO Jalalon has been struggling from the field in the 2018 PBA Governors Cup Finals, but don't expect him to stop shooting.
Jalalon scored on a lean-in jumper with 15.9 seconds left on Friday night as Magnolia beat Alaska in a grind-out Game Two, 77-71, to move two wins away from its first league championship since the 2014 grand slam.
Prior to that clutch go-ahead shot, Jalalon was only 1-of-8 from the field. And after Game Two, the Magnolia guard is a combined 5-of-17 in the best-of-seven series.
Jalalon, who had seven points, seven rebunds, seven assists, and three steals on Friday, said he tried to make up for his shooting woes with defense, which was what he has been focusing on in this title series.
“Sa depensa ko na lang binabawi,” said Jalalon. “Wala, hindi talaga maka-shoot pati sa free throw.”
Unlike in Game One where Magnolia led all throughout, the Hotshots had to go through the proverbial eye of the needle this time as they were still trailing by four points entering the fourth quarter.
Jalalon, who had seven points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists in Game One, said it was Magnolia’s defense that opened opportunities for the Hotshots.
“Siguro fourth quarter, ‘yung defense namin, doon nag-start. Doon kami naka-run kahit lamang pa sila. ‘Yung mental toughness namin nandoon, ‘yung defense at ‘yung desire to win, nandoon lahat,” said Jalalon.