Gilas holds breath as Jio Jalalon sprains ankle in tune-up vs Blackwater
Gilas starting guard Jio Jalalon clutches his left ankle while in pain. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas is holding its breath after Jio Jalalon sprained his left ankle in the team’s 105-101 win over Blackwater in their tune-up game on Friday night at the Meralco gym.

The Star Hotshots rookie point guard was bringing down the ball when the Blackwater defense forced him to commit a turnover in a play halfway through the third quarter that led to him hurting and clutching his ankle in pain.

Jalalon didn’t return and his ankle was iced the rest of the match.

“Na-sprain ako. Masakit talaga,” Jalalon said after the game before excusing himself.

National coach Chot Reyes is hoping for the best for Jalalon, who started for the second straight tune-up game and is expected to be among the leaders for the young squad for the Jones Cup in Chinese-Taipei from July 15-23.

“Hindi ko alam kung light lang yung ankle injury niya,” Reyes said. “At least we’re getting a lot of guys coming in and playing.”

Matthew Wright was also sufferinf from back spasms, relegating him into a spectator in the tune-up game.

“Hopefully he can play tomorrow,” Reyes said of Wright, referring to their third tune-up game on Saturday noon against Alaska at Hoops Center.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos