PBA: With Barroca hampered, Magnolia hopes to get more from Jalalon

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2021 06:52 PM

PBA Media Bureau
Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon puts up a shot against TNT in Game 3. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- Young guard Jio Jalalon was one of the heroes for Magnolia in its 106-98 triumph over TNT in Game 3 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals last Sunday.

It was Jalalon who ensured that the Hotshots would get off to a strong start, after poor first quarters doomed them in the first two games of the series. He scored five quick points in a 7-0 Magnolia start, and finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

For Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, Jalalon's output was much-needed, especially with lead guard Mark Barroca hampered by a hamstring injury.

"[Jio is] very important," said Victolero. "Mark talked to me, because may nararamdaman nga siya, and then sabi niya, 'Coach, start mo muna si Jio.'"

The coach praised Jalalon for staying ready, as he started for only the fourth time in the conference and did so in such a crucial game.

"Thankful ako doon sa bata, because he started very strong on both ends of the floor, and stepped up on his Kuya Mark," Victolero said. "I talked to Jio also before this game, and very important 'yung mindset ni Jio kasi."

Barroca has had two days to recover ahead of Game 4, set for Wednesday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga. Still, Victolero is hopeful that they will continue to get a solid performance from Jalalon.

Before Game 3, Jalalon had just scored a combined eight points in the Finals, though he did have eight assists and five rebounds in Game 2. 

"I think nakuha naman niya 'yung gusto naming mangyari, and hopefully, magtuloy-tuloy 'yung game ni Jio," said Victolero.

Game time on Wednesday is at 6:00 p.m., with the Hotshots looking to equalize the best-of-seven series.