Magnolia should stop playing catch-up ball vs San Miguel, says Jalalon
MANILA, Philippines – If Magnolia wants to slay the giants in San Miguel for the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup title, they have to stop falling in love with playing catch-up basketball.
That is what Jio Jalalon learned in the first two games of the best-of-7 All-Filipino finals series that saw the Hotshots lose Game 2, 77-92, on Sunday, March 25.
Magnolia, which won Game 1 by overcoming a 20-point deficit, 105-103, looked like on its way to another inspired comeback after trimming a once-21-point lead to just 7 points in the 4th quarter.
But the Beermen would not commit the same mistake as they doused cold water on the fiery Magnolia fightback, to even the series at 1-1.
With the championship playoffs approaching a pivotal Game 3, Jalalon knows the Hotshots have to arrest their habit of lethargic starts.
"Kailangan talaga first, second, third, anuhin na namin. Kasi sayang, sayang 'yung game na 'yung palitan ng score, tapos lalamang sila ng bente, hahabulin namin," said the sophomore guard.
(We need to play well in the first, second and 3rd quarters. It's a waste of opportunity. We compete early then they will lead by 20 then we will try to come back.)
"Hindi naman kami superhero siguro para magawa namin ulit 'yun. Swerte lang kami noong Game 1, nagawa lang namin 'yung trabaho namin. So ngayon, inaalagaan na talaga nila yung score nila."
(We are not superheroes to do that again. We were just lucky in Game 1, we just did our jobs. Now, they protected their lead.)
In an attempt to will the Hotshots back into the game with the Beermen holding a comfortable 87-71 lead, Jalalon tried to get under Arwind Santos' skin by bumping into him.
That did not end well for both players. The two engaged in a verbal tussle and they were both slapped technical fouls with 3 minutes left on the clock.
"Syempre, alam ko na din na lamang na so nang-iinis na lang ako," said the 25-year-old. "Tinulak niya nga ako e. Pero ako talaga 'yung unang lumapit, tinulak lang niya ako. Nang-iinis lang ako. Nagbabakasakali lang ako."
(There were already up big so I was just trying to mess with him. He actually pushed me but I was the one who started it. I was just trying to mess with him. I was just trying my luck.)
Come Game 3, which will be held next Sunday, April 1, at the Araneta Coliseum, Jalalon is well aware that it will be a battle of who starts and finishes strong.
"Kailangan next game, first quarter pa lang, buhos na kasi ano e, kami lang din nahihirapan e."
(The next game, we need to pour it out as early as the first quarter. If we will not, it is only us who will have a hard time.) – Rappler.com