March 23, 2016
Countdown to Manila OQT: 105 days
Arellano University Chiefs and Caida Tile Masters floor general Jiovanni Jalalon was the latest addition to Gilas Pilipinas’ practice sessions, joining a group of cadets which already includes Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, and Roger Pogoy to name a few.
With injuries continuing to strike the seniors, particularly guards Terrence Romeo and Jayson Castro over the past weekend, Jalalon says it is only vital for the youngster to offer help to their kuyas as much as they could.
“Kailangan rin namin mag-practice para matulungan yung mga kuya namin kasi malapit na yung (tournament nila) so sana maganda mapakita nila,” Jalalon said.
Jalalon, who was also part of the 2015 SEA Games squad, adds he missed being part of the national team. He says being together the other collegiate basketball stars during Gilas practices makes him feel at ease.
And even if Jalalon is just a practice player this time around, he still feels honored to be going up against his PBA idols.
“Namiss ko rin kasama sina Kiefer (Ravena) nung Gilas Cadet ako. Noong na-invite ako, yun, pumunta talaga ako. Minsan lang ako mai-invite eh. Sobrang saya kasi nakakasama ko yung mga PBA player at nakakabantayan ko sina idol LA (Tenorio), sobrang saya ko nun,” Jalalon shared.
With the collegiate basketball season in its off days, Jalalon is also making the most out of the break to prepare for another NCAA season later this year.
“Dun ko din pinapalakas yung loob ko kasi sila mga ka-practice ko,” he added.