Jayson Castro sees great potential in Jio Jalalon, but Star rookie says he has much to learn
"Chinallenge ko sarili ko bago siya bantayan,” says Star rookie Jio Jalalon on his first PBA showdown with idol Jayson Castro of TNT. Jerome Ascano

FOR someone considered as the 'next Jayson Castro,' Jio Jalalon tried to make a nice first impression against the established PBA star.

The Star rookie admitted he was extra motivated to face Castro, saying he idolizes the TNT Katropa superstar.

Jalalon registered nine points, four boards, and one assist, against six turnovers in 23 minutes off the bench, highlighting his offensive performance with a long jumper in the face of Castro late in the first half.

But it was on defense where he tried to impress Castro more.

“Maganda experience ko kay Kuya Jayson and na-excite ako dahil sa kanya,” Jalalon admitted. “Mahirap bantayan. Nung nabantayan ko siya, binigay sa akin ni coach. Sabi ko challenge ko sarili ko kasi idol ko siya.”

“Attack the basket talaga (si Castro),” he added. “Yun nakita ko nung ako depensa. Yun, chinallenge ko sarili ko bago siya bantayan.”

[See Star Hotshots click on both ends of the floor in convincing win over TNT]

Jalalon appeared to accomplish his task as he was among those who held Castro to just 16 points on a paltry 4-of-15 shooting, while committing four turnovers in 37 minutes.

Asked if he can reach the status of Castro in the future, Jalalon knows he has plenty to learn.

“Hindi ko masabi yan.”

Castro, though, can already attest to the potential of his younger counterpart.

“Magaling. Makikita mo yung potential sa kanya,” the TNT superstar said. “Kaya niyang i-run yung team nila pag andun siya.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos