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Returning Jalalon provides spark for Magnolia

MANILA, Philippines – Jiovani Jalalon made a rousing debut in the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, as the sophomore point guard helped the Magnolia Hotshots clobber the Kia Picanto, 124-77, for their second win of the conference.

Jalalon had missed their first two games to recover from an LCL (lateral collateral ligament) injury, an ailment that already prevented him from suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas in the first window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers last November.

The former Arellano University standout admitted that he was still only at 70%, but that was enough for him to make an impact against a struggling Kia team.

"Jio is a spark, especially in today's game," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

Jalalon contributed 11 points, nine of which came in the final quarter, while adding five rebounds, three assists, and two steals in just over 21 minutes of playing time.

"Maganda 'yung balik ko," he said. "Hindi naman sa minamaliit ko 'yung Kia, pero 'yun 'yung start. Maganda 'yung pinakita namin ngayon."

Photo: ABS-CBN News
Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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