Is Jiovani Jalalon turning into the new Scottie Thompson?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 08, 2015 06:50 PM
Is Jiovani Jalalon turning into the new Scottie Thompson?
MIRROR IMAGE. Little by little, Jiovani Jalalon is getting himself primed to inherit the Mr. Triple-double title Scottie Thompson currently owns.

If there’s one player who perfectly encapsulates what an all-around player is, it could only be reigning MVP Scottie Thompson who is averaging 14.8 points, 8.7 assists, and 11.2 rebounds in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

However, another name is making a case for himself and is rampaging with a full head of steam right at Thompson. During Arellano University and University of Perpetual Help’s matchup last Friday, Jiovani Jalalon one-upped the reigning MVP by ending with 32 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds as well as the all-important “W.”

Asked why he looked determined to show that everything Thompson could do, he could do better, Jalalon told ABS-CBN Sports, “Nagsipag lang talaga ako kasi kelangan namin manalo. Yun lang.” While he is already averaging 18 points and 10 assists, Jalalon still has a lot of work to do to catch Thompson who is the only guard in the top five in rebounding.

He continued, however, “Iniisip ko lang din naman yung teammates ko. Hindi ko naman inisip na habulin yung stats.”

Still, those words are the very same words that could have come out of the reigning MVP’s mouth. Right down to their demeanor, by and large the league’s two best playmakers seem to be mirroring one another.

Thompson, who leads the league with five triple-doubles, isn’t at all surprised that his good friend and fellow Mindanao native just tallied the second triple-double of his career. “’Di naman talaga imposible kasi si Jio, all-around player. Gagawin din niya lahat para sa team,” he said.

However, the Perpetual star discounted any notion that Jalalon’s ascent has turned him into his rival. “Pag may laro nga kami, nagtatawagan kami. Nagbibiruan kaming, ‘Pagbigyan mo kami ha,’” he said.

The Arellano star echoed Thompson’s statement in saying, “Kanina (last Friday) nga, tinawagan ko siya at sinabing dahan-dahan lang.”


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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