About two weeks after he celebrated the birth of his first-born, Jio Jalalon had another reason to be delighted on Wednesday night.
The sophomore point guard out of Arellano had his first-ever triple-double in the pro league, tallying 13 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds in the Magnolia Hotshots’ dominant 133-99 victory over the Blackwater Elite.
That is also his first triple-double in three years. He last achieved the feat back in October 6, 2015, where he had 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in the AU Chiefs’ 98-90 victory over the EAC Generals in NCAA Season 91.
“‘Di ko lang din talaga alam eh. Basta naglaro na lang ako,” said Jalalon. “Iba naman kasi noong college eh. Kasi, PBA iba na dito eh. Ma-ano na talaga ‘to eh, parang ang taas na ng [level] ng player. ‘Di ko magagawa yun dito.
“Nagulat nga lang rin ako eh.”
For Jalalon, his rare record could also be attributed to his senior and the Hotshots’ unquestioned leader Marc Pingris, as the 6-foot-4 forward – who’s currently recovering from an ACL injury – encouraged him to chase the feat.
“Si kuya Ping ang nagsabing dalawang rebound na lang,” admitted the 26-year-old from Cagayan De Oro while beaming. “Tapos “Ah, ganon?” Kaya ‘yon, sabi niya, sige rumebound ka. Kaya ayon, kinuha ko na rin, sayang eh.”
And for the Gilas Pilipinas guard, the night was made more satisfying by the fact that they are on a four-game winning streak and have moved a step closer to clinching a quarterfinal spot in the season-ending conference.
“Siguro defense,” said Jalalon, when asked what he thinks has been doing wonders for the Hotshots.
“Doon kami nananalo, kasi kung ‘di kami dumepensa, wala talaga,” he furthered “Lahat ng trinatrabaho namin sa praktis, nagagawa na namin ngayon paunti-unti.
“Sana nga ‘yung goal namin, makuha na talaga. Big picture talaga.”