No braking for Jalalon with semi-pro stints as next stops

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 16, 2015 09:17 PM
No braking for Jalalon with semi-pro stints as next stops
DRIVING THROUGH. Jiovani Jalalon will not be resting as he follows up his NCAA campaign with stints in a couple of semi-pro leagues.

With Jiovani Jalalon putting up MVP numbers and even earning a nickname for himself, Arellano University looked set to reinforce its status as a championship contender.


Both “The Bus Driver’s” individual accolades and the Chiefs’ team glory weren’t meant to be, however, as they fell victim to #KaguloSaNCAA. With a bitter defeat to Mapua Institute of Technology, last season’s runners-up fell one game short of the Final Four.


Reacting to the loss, Jalalon told ABS-CBN Sports, “Sobrang sakit kasi galing kami sa Finals, tas ngayon bumaba kami. Ang pangit pakinggan.”


Although hurting, the Cagayan de Oro native remained upbeat because he had one more playing year – and he will be ruling over a field without Scottie Thompson, Baser Amer, or Mark Cruz. “Next year, babawi na lang talaga kami,” he said.


After claiming his place as the face of Arellano this season, things seem pretty much in place for Jalalon to take the leadership mantle in his last go-round in college next year. He, however, is thinking otherwise as of the moment in saying, “Mag-uusap muna kami ni coach (Jerry Codinera) kasi mahirap din maging captain, ikaw magdadala ng teammates mo.”


He then continued, “Siguro, hindi muna. Beside lang muna ako ni Allen (Enriquez) at Dioncee (Holts).”


Nonetheless, “The Bus Driver” of next season will only be even better as yet again, he will be keeping his foot on the pedal and will see action in a couple of semi-professional leagues. He shared that he will be part of the Racal Caida Tile Masters in the Philippine Commercial Basketball League and will also take his talents to the PBA D-League.


With even more seasoning, the Chiefs’ star just may earn himself a new nickname when the 92nd Season of the NCAA gets underway. Asked if he’s ready to replace Thompson as “Mr. Triple-Double,” Jalalon responded, humble as always, “Pagtratrabahuan ko bago ko siya makuha.”


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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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