Even Jiovanni Jalalon knows how poorly he performed when the San Sebastian College drubbed Arellano University, 91-81, to force a playoff game for the no. 1 seed in the 92nd NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
While still the leading scorer for the Chiefs with 14 points, Jalalon needed 23 attempts and only made five in his 31.17 minute time on the floor.
“Sobrang sama,” Jalalon admitted of his flunk. the Cagayan de Oro native said the wound under his left eye sustained in the first half as well as a minor sprain on his left ankle was troubling him a little in the payoff period.
“Noong huli, kumikirot na tsaka nung pag-drive ko naapakan ko yung paa ni (Benedict) Adamos kaya parang na-sprain ako ng konti,” he said.
The Chiefs were 0-2 against the Lions this season and Jalalon admitted the Chiefs may have been too eager to end the eliminations as the number one team.
“Siguro gigil kami sobra, sobrang gigil kaming lahat kasi nga iniisip namin gusto naming one. Hindi pumapasok mga tira namin,” he added.
Arellano trailed by double digits heading into the fourth quarter but managed to cut the lead to five points midway through the final frame.
The Red Lions, however, weathered the Chiefs’ fightback behind Javee Mocon’s heroics.
“Di namin nasunod yung pinapagawa ng mga coach kaya kami nalamangan. Sigruro sa huli lang kami nakinig kay coach na ito gagawin hinabol namin,[pero] wala kulang sa oras,” Jalalon explained.
The MVP frontrunner said he will take the loss but assured the Chiefs will get the top seed as they prepare for the playoff match on Tuesday.
“Okay pa naman kami. Sayang lang. Nanghihinayang kami lahat kasi gusto namin no. 1 pero alam ko may laro pa sa Tuesday kailangan namin mag-hardwork sa practice doon naman nagsisimula yun e,” he said.
The Chiefs’ top playmaker also vowed not to take the Lions lightly even without Donald Tankoua as San Beda is too deep that anybody can step up.
“Pagbubutihin namin yung pag-scout sa players lalo na kay Mocon. Siguro pagdating sa Tuesday handa na kami bounce back kami,” Jalalon said. – By John Chester Fajardo