Arellano's Jalalon: ‘Masakit talaga, nandoon na kami’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 07, 2016 06:57 PM
CLOSE BUT NOT QUITE. What could have been a game-winning assist by Jiovani Jalalon has turned into simply what could have been for Arellano.
Jiovani Jalalon and Arellano University were so close to a win in Game 1 of the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament Finals that they swore the sweet smell was already tickling their nose.
Unfortunately for “The Bus Driver” and his bus, it wasn’t meant to be.
Two shots that could have changed the outcome of the game didn’t go the way of the Chiefs.
First, Jalalon’s dish to a wide open Dioncee Holts’ ended up with the ball only kissing the front of the rim. Then, Jalalon’s Hail Mary right before the final buzzer sounded didn’t even touch any part of the ring.
Battling back from 13 points behind, Arellano’s effort proved to be far from enough. “Sayang. Masakit talaga,” their court general expressed post-game.
He then continued, “Nandoon na kami, nakalamang na kami, (pero) nag-relax pa.”
Coach Jerry Codinera was also left to rue Holts’ miss that was, apparently, meant for Jalalon all along. Talking about the play that would have had given them a one-point lead in the dying moments, “Si Jio talaga yun. May play kami na ni-design para sa kanya, pero he changed it sa kalagitnaan and binigay niya kay Holts.”
With the Chiefs staring down at a one-point deficit, Codinera called a timeout and ordered his floor general to take charge. Instead of taking the shot, however, he made a play for his big man who is known to have a sweet stroke and was a shooting perfect 4-of-4 for the game.
While Codinera appreciates Jalalon’s selflessness, the former said he would have liked nothing more than for the latter to have been the one to take the shot. “Siyempre, I will always wish that it’s Jio who will take the last shot. Whatever happens, iba yung feeling ko pag si Jio yung tumira,” he shared.
For his part, “The Bus Driver” pointed out that he still believed making the play for Holts was the right thing to do. “Nakita ko si Dioncee, ang layo ng tao niya kaya binigay ko na. May tiwala naman ako sa kanya kaya nagtiwala rin ako sa teammate ko,” he said.
He then continued, “Kung na-shoot naman niya yun, iba.”
In the end, Jalalon reminded everybody that, well, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. “Move on na lang kami. Bawi na lang,” he said.
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