When he was still donning an Arellano jersey in the NCAA, Jio Jalalon was a triple-double threat on any night.
But it took him almost two years to pull off that feat in a PBA game. The cat-quick guard churned out 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists, while helping Magnolia drub Blackwater, 133-99, on Wednesday.
When asked about his first career triple-double, Jalalon was almost at a loss for words.
"I really don't know. I just played," he said in Filipino after the match at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Jalalon then deflected credit credit to his teammates while making special mention of energetic guard Mark Barroca, who is feisty on both ends of the floor.
The pint-sized guard was focused on doing his job he wasn't aware he was on the brink of reaching a career milestone. It was teammate Marc Pingris who told him he was two rebounds shy of the feat.
"Pingris told me I only needed two rebounds. So I just tried to get them. It would be a waste if I didn't," he said.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero has always known Jalaon is capable of doing wonders as he did on Wednesday. But he is hoping he will do well on both ends especially on defense on a regular basis.
"I always challenge him. I tell him there's a lot more you can do. I'm happy he got a triple double but it doesn't end there," he said in Filipino. "He needs to be consistent on both ends. Because he can really help the team a lot."
Jalalon shared the same sentiment. Defense, he said, was key in Magnolia's 6-1 start in the season-ending conference.
"Defense allows us to win. If we don't do well on defense, we'll lose. We all work hard in practice. I'm hoping we reach our goal this conference," he said.