Inspired play wins Player of the Week award for Jalalon

Inspired play wins Player of the Week award for Jalalon
FAMILY FIRST. Jiovani Jalalon put on a show for his family who flew in from Cagayan de Oro.

Arellano University realized their immediate goal in the 92nd NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and, of course, they have Jiovani Jalalon to thank for it.

With his family watching him up close and personal, Jalalon came through with a pair of MVP-worthy performances last week, towing the Chiefs back into the Final Four round with three games to spare in the elimination round.

It was also enough for the 5-foot-10 guard to clinch the ACCEL Quantum/3XVI-NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week citation.

Proving he’s more than just a playmaker, Jalalon took charge down the stretch and fired 15 of his season-high 33 markers in the final frame, helping Arellano stave off gritty Lyceum of the Philippines University, 78-75, last Tuesday.

Far from done, “The Bus Driver” came up with another all-around performance in the Chiefs’ 83-74 victory versus defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran three days later when he piled up 22 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists.

Behind Jalalon’s notable exploits, Arellano stayed atop the standings with a 12-3 mark and joined San Beda College as early entrants into the Final Four stage. Nothing but glad with their redemption after missing the playoffs last year, Jalalon said while beaming, “Sobrang saya ko lang kasi nakabalik na kami sa Final Four.”

Giving the high Chief added motivation was the presence of his family – father Vicente, mother Jocelyn, and brother Jericho – who flew from Cagayan de Oro City over the weekend to watch him play live for the first time this year. “Ganadong-ganado ako kasi first time lang nila makapanood ng live this season. Gusto ko rin talaga magpakitang gilas para sa family ko,” said Jalalon, who averaged 27.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists for the past week.

Already assured of a semis berth, Jalalon vowed there will be no let-up for Arellano. “Pagdating sa Final Four, marami pang gagawin ang mga players namin. Maski ako, kailangang mas mag-step up pa,” he said.

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