Jamie Malonzo was actually nursing a dislocated finger when NorthPort took on Phoenix Super LPG in Saturday night’s PBA Governors’ Cup tiff.
The athletic 6-foot-6 forward disclosed that he got hurt during the Batang Pier’s 103-101 stunner of league leader Magnolia last Thursday.
“I dislocated it last game,” he said.
“It’s been a struggle.”
That’s precisely the reason why the rookie out of La Salle wasn’t able to play the way he usually does, according to coach Pido Jarencio.
“‘Yung right pinky niya, maga, kaya ‘di siya maka-shoot ng free throw,” he said as Malonzo went just 1-of-6 from the charity stripe.
“Kaya lahat ng shot niya, jump shot. Not drive. Follow up or drive. Tingnan niyo, talagang maga ‘yung pinky niya, Magang-maga.”
Still, it didn’t stop Malonzo from being of help to his crew.
The 25-year-old registered 13 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, as NorthPort took home the 101-93 win to stretch its win streak to three.
“We’re grinding,” said Malonzo.
“We’re out there and hoopin’.”
Jarencio sang praises for his prized recruit for the heart he showed that ultimately helped the Batang Pier boost their playoff chances.
“Talagang binigay niya ‘yung puso niya sa game. Talagang he did his best,” lauded the veteran mentor. “Talagang gusto niyang manalo.”
Malonzo, however, deflected the credit to the entire team, saying that they have all been working collectively which has led to their run after an 0-5 start.
“Honestly we just went out there and grinded the whole game. Honestly, I’m surprised I got Player of the Game. It was the whole team,” he said,
“We’ve been fighting these last three games.”
Proud, too, is Malonzo with what NorthPort has done since the resumption, and hopes that they will be able to sustain their winning ways.
“We went out there and proved we could be a contender,” he said. “We just gon keep going for the rest of the season.
“Hopefully, we can rack up these dubs.”
For now, though, Malonzo aims to heal sooner.
“Imma ice it.”
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