Arellano University continues to live up to its lofty billing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 92 men’s basketball tournament and prized playmaker Jiovani Jalalon, as expected, is at the forefront of the Chiefs’ rampage.
The 5’10 Jalalon proved that anew last week when he led Arellano to a pair of convincing victories, stretching the league’s hottest winning streak to six while staying hot on the heels of pace-setting San Beda College.
As his fellow Chiefs, notably rejuvenated American center Dioncee Holts, provided the needed support on both ends, Jalalon remained as the biggest driving force, averaging 25.0 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal in their last two wins which helped them improve to 9-2, just a full-game behind the Red Lions (10-1).
“He makes life easier for us,” said the 6’6 Holts of Jalalon, the latest recipient of the Accel Quantum/3XVI-NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week honors.
Arguably the finest point guard in the collegiate ranks today, Jalalon showcased his vastly-improved offensive skills in Arellano’s 89-84 win over San Sebastian College on August 16, firing away a personal season-high of 33 points, 14 of them coming in an explosive third-quarter performance marred by a head injury scare.
Arellano coach Jerry Codiñera visibly impressed with Jalalon’s fortitude after banging his head on the ring support brace following a tough challenge from San Sebastian’s Jayson David on his lay-up attempt.
Three days later, Jalalon picked up from where he left off, pumping in a team-high 17 markers while igniting the Chiefs’ swashbuckling start en route to a trouble-free 78-69 win over the free-falling College of St. Benilde Blazers.
Putting the team above himself, Jalalon was more pleased to see his teammates deliver, hoping they can sustain it as they bid to make a return trip to the Final Four, the Chiefs’ immediate goal.
Jalalon edged Holts, San Sebastian’s Alvin Capobres and San Beda rookie Ben Adamos for the weekly citation given by sports scribes from the country’s broadsheets, tabloids and online portals covering the league.