Prior to the Arellano University Chiefs’ tough 76-66 defeat against the University of Perpetual Help Altas, Gilas cadet Jiovani Jalalon’s peformance has been rock solid with norms of 14.2 points, 6 rebounds, and a league-leading 9.8 assists and 3.2 steals per game.
Many expected that Jalalon would dominate and put up huge numbers against the fellow Gilas cade Scottie Thompson and the Altas, but he had a subpar performance after finishing with 9 points on 39 percent shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and whopping 9 turnovers.
At first glance, all credit is given to Perpetual’s defensive strategy against him. However, there is another cause for his bad game as Tiebreaker Times learned that Jalalon sprained his shooting hand during the team’s training last Monday.
“Bad game siya [today] pero medyo masakit din ang kamay ni Jiovani. Ang shooting hand niya injured so factor din iyon kasi mahirap pumasa at makashoot,” Arellano assistant coach Barry Tobias told Tiebreaker Times. “There is no problem with his shoulder anymore pero ang [shooting] hand was injured during practice.”
In addition, Tobias would later remark the Chiefs must pick up the slack; especially when Jalalon is having a difficult time. He also said the team must want the win more regardless of the circumstances and whichever team they face.
“Parang hindi namin gusto bumawi at parang ayaw namin manalo. Kailangan namin ang hunger to win,” he added. “Good game sana [ito if we won], because we could have separated ourselves from the Final Four teams [in the standings]. Kasi natalo ang JRU [against San Beda] and kung natalo namin itong Perpetual, bababa pa sila lalo [in the standings]. Sayang talaga pero it’s a long season and we need to work on a lot of things.”
Arellano is currently situated at fifth place in the standings with a 4-3 record. Their next game will be against the College of Saint Benilde Blazers this coming August 14, 4:00 pm, at the Filoil Flying V Arena.