Jio Jalalon has been spectacular this season!
After losing super scorer Keith Agovida and floor general John Pinto to graduation, the Arellano University Chiefs were expected to have a drop-off from last season’s fairy tale run. Unfortunately for the doubters there was none as ace point guard and Smart Elite ambassador Jio Jalalon has been leading the charge for the 10-4 Chiefs.
After averaging 9 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals in 27 minutes of action last season, Jalalon has upped the ante in increasing his point production with 18.07 points. Moreover, he is adding 6.43 boards, a whopping 10.14 dimes, and 2.57 steals. Currently, the Cagayan de Oro-native is fourth in scoring, first in assists, and second in steals in the league.
Last Friday, Jalalon notched a triple-double with a statline of 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 17 assists. His third career triple-double also netted a win for the Chiefs, 86-76, against the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags.
Arellano head coach and PBA legend Jerry Condinera remarked that the team always tries to celebrate, even in the simplest of ways, every time his star guard grabs a triple-double. “Well siyempre it’s always a treat to see his get a triple-double. Everytime he gets a triple-double, we always try to celebrate kasi we know hard it is,” the PBA legend remarked.
In addition, Condinera admitted that he turns into a fan every time Jalalon steps on the floor. “Minsan parang fan na lang ako ni Jiovanni. Sabi ko kaya mo naman e,” he admitted. He further added that only once-in-a-generation athletes consistently performs at the level Jalalon does, “si Magic Johnson lang gumagawa niyan tsaka si Don Ramon [Fernandez].”
The Smart Elite ambassador admitted that he does not look at the stat sheets since it makes him nervous, especially if his team is behind on the scoreboard. He added that he tries to motivate his teammates all the time and give them the confidence to take the shot. “Hindi ko naiisip na ganun nagagawa ko sa laro namin. Grabe din kasi yung depensa ng kalaban namin. Buti na lang nakakabawi ako tsaka inuuna ko mga teammates ko. Kung nakikita ko sila gumo-go binibigay ko na lang sa kanila,” Jalalon explained.
He cited Donald Gumaru as an example. Gumaru, who tallied 17 points in their more recent game. “Tulad ni Donald, binibigyan ko na lang ng kumpiyansa. Sinasabi ko ‘pag ayaw mo tumira di ka makaka-shoot.'” This confidence he instills to his teammates has led the Chiefs to have the highest shooting percentage in the league right now with 33.93%.
The third year guard credits his performances to hard work. “Sa hard work ko lang kasi di mo makukuha iyon kapag di ka magpractice. Yung hard work ko nababawi naman sa laro namin.”