From foes to friends, Jalalon and Salado now Chiefs' backbone

Tricia Robredo on Jul 26, 2015 10:25 AM
From foes to friends, Jalalon-Salado now Chiefs' backbone
KALOKALIKE. Schoolmates, teammates, magkababayan, magkapwesto, magkamukha even; these are just a few of the things to describe Jiovani Jalalon and Michael Salado.

After Arellano University's victory against San Sebastian last Thursday, ABS-CBN Sports caught up with senior Jiovani Jalalon and rookie Kent Salado for their post-game thoughts and it was truly amusing how their answers were always in sync and how they even practically finished each other’s sentences!

Before you get any crazy thoughts, the #LoveWins trend isn’t the case for these two. Jiovani said they are more like brothers and teammates, having been already acquainted back in their Cagayan de Oro days as he said, “Kababayan at kaibigan ko talaga ‘to. Nagkakilala kami sa liga sa amin – magkalaban nung una pero naging magkaibigan din.”

Jiovani was actually the reason behind Kent’s transfer to the big city and then to Arellano. “Nung umuwi siya sa CDO nung Christmas, tinanong niya ako kung pwede ako pumunta ng Arellano. Tinanong siya ni coach Jerry kung kilala ako, e magkaibigan naman kami,” Kent shared

They became closer and better friends once both were already in Manila. Jiovani took it upon himself to be the older brother and the guiding light to his kababayan who, of course, needed some help adjusting.

This served a great deal to the rookie Salado as he is slowly starting to find his rhythm on court and his place outside. “Yung nagagawa ko ngayon, nakukuha ko sa kanya. Nung bago palang ako, nagtatanong ako kung ano yung kailangan gawin. Binibigyan niya ako ng kumpyansa kung ano dapat gawin,” Kent said.

Schoolmates. Teammates. Magkababayan. Magkapwesto. Magkamukha, even. This duo is making waves in the NCAA and they are the major reason why the Chiefs are on track for a return to the semifinals.

Right there with them is another tandem gaining renown, Rey Nambatac and Mark Cruz, and that's why Arellano and Letran's looming clash is all the more interesting. While the Knights are confident that they are the best backcourt in the league, the Chiefs' bets reminded everyone that they shouldn't be counted out as Jalalon said, “Bilog naman ang bola. Malakas sila, pero lalaban kami.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @jpgrobredo.

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