Little was known about Jamie Malonzo heading into the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament. But the 6-foot-7 one-and-done guard out of La Salle made sure to introduce himself in a big way.
Just four minutes into his UAAP career, the Portland State University alumnus threw a thunderous poster jam.
The victim of his dunk? Thirdy Ravena himself.
Pictures of the dunk went viral all over social media. Ravena even used it as his cellphone wallpaper.
“Lagi kong nakikita. Tatlong beses niya atang pinost sa Instagram niya,” quipped Ravena, who ended up being the Finals MVP of the season.
“It’s been my wallpaper since the picture came out. I see that picture every time I open my phone. Sawang-sawa na ako sa picture na ‘yun.”
Up to this day, the two — yes, even Malonzo — are still wondering about what he said to Ravena after the adrenaline-pumping jam.
“We had multiple times talking about it. We even have like these talks where it’s like, ‘Man, what did you say to me?’ And I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t even really know’,” Malonzo wondered.
“We’ve been doing pretty well with each other. So far, so good.”
Four months after that moment, Malonzo and Ravena have become good friends. The latter has even invited the Filipino-American to his home every now and then to play video games.
Moreover, the two are now teammates in Mighty Sports for its campaign in the 2020 Dubai Basketball Championship.
Safe to say, the Lasallian and the Atenean did not expect to be teammates this soon.
“Maliit talaga ang mundo ng basketball. Kahit anong mangyari sa ‘yo, kahit kaaway mo, ‘di malayong maging teammate kayo. Tulad ng nangyari sa amin, rivals who ended up as teammates,” shared Ravena.
“I didn’t think we’d be teammates this soon. I thought maybe later down the road, but I mean, I never would have thought it would be this soon,” continued Malonzo, who ended up being in the All-UAAP Season 82 team.
“But honestly, it’s been a great experience, and we both go at each other in practice. Us being on the same team, we just push each other just as hard. It’s gone well so far.”
After battling it out for the better part of 2019, the swingmen share the same goal to open the new year: be the first non-Middle Eastern team to win the 31-year-old invitational meet.
Besides this, the two are also in the same crossroads right now, wondering what is life after college.
From rivals to teammates and good pals.
“I think we both bring dynamic aspects of the game. I think we both can provide very precious minutes to the team going forward and propelling this team to the championship in Dubai. Just us together, you know? We’ve been placed on teams in practice, and we both sort of push each other just as hard as we go at each other in practice. I think we complement each other very well,” opined Malonzo.
Ravena added, “We’re both in the same situation kaka-graduate lang namin in the UAAP; and we’re both finding our way with our careers, kung paano namin sisimulan after the collegiate life.”
And everyone feels excited to see these two share the same colors for once.
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