SAN Beda coach Jamike Jarin has dubbed Jio Jalalon “the best point guard in amateur basketball right now” and considers Arellano one the top title contenders in the NCAA Season 92 basketball tournament.
The Chiefs actually placed fifth in the 10-team league last season, but with the performance of Jio Jalalon in the summer tournaments and his stint with the Gilas cadets, Arellano has been mentioned in preseason discussions as the team to beat.
Jarin said Jalalon is simply a cut above the rest of the college point guards.
"Arellano has the best point guard in amateur basketball right now in Jio Jalalon," Jarin said.
Jalalon has been having a good year in 2016. He was part of the Gilas cadet pool that saw action in the Seaba Stankovic Cup, which the Philippines won. The Arellano star guard is also expected to be part of a Gilas Pilipinas cadet program that will be focusing on Fiba tournaments.
Jalalon also led the Chiefs to a runner-up finish in the Premier Cup preseason event behind La Salle, one of the top title contenders in the UAAP this season.
More than being playmaker and chief scorer, Jalalon is expected to be the Chiefs true leader.
"Tine-train ako ni coach Jerry (Codinera) na maging coach ako sa loob dahil ikaw lang naman ang nakakaalam sa nangyayari sa loob," said the 22-year-old guard Jalalon.
Even with the good year he is having, Jalalon agrees that those accomplishments will mean nothing without the NCAA title.
"Ngayong season, mataas ‘yung tingin namin sa team namin kasi umabot kami sa finals ng Filoil. Pero kailangan pa rin naming magtrabaho dahil iba sa NCAA. Iba ang scouting dito. Kailangan pa namin mag-hard work bago sumabak sa NCAA," said Jalalon.