Magnolia team governor Rene Pardo shot down persistent rumors that young playmaker Jio Jalalon is on the trading block.
"There's no truth to rumors that we're trading Jio," Pardo told ESPN5 on Monday.
The amiable Magnolia team official stressed that the former Gilas guard is very much part of the Hotshots' future, which is one reason why they recently inked him to a fresh three-year pact.
"Fact is, we just gave Jio a three-year extension deal. We are supposed not to make public yet that we signed him to a three-year deal, but I just have to tell you this news now because Jio has been affected by this rumor," explained Pardo.
Pardo mentioned that Jalalon's performance has been affected somewhat by the trade rumors, a reason why he and Magnolia team manager Alvin Patrimonio have met and talked with the cat-quick playmaker.
"You can see it from Jio's game that he's affected," reasoned Pardo. "He's active at social media and for sure, he reads the trade rumors there. We feel for Jio but again, we've assured him that he's very much part of the team."
"But I can tell you that to this day, there's nothing on the table involving Jio on a trade. There are no offers from any team or anything," Pardo insisted.
Jalalon was selected by Magnolia at a special draft in 2016.
The guard out of Arellano U is averaging just 4.43 points, 3.43 rebounds and 4.0 assists, while making only 27 percent of his shots from the field. In the ongoing 2019 Governors' Cup, Jalalon has only made 1 of his 13 attempts from three-point zone for a frigid 8 percent shooting clip.
In Magnolia's 105-83 spanking at the hands of Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, Jalalon scored just six points on 3-of-7 shooting, while issuing 4 assists and grabbing 3 rebounds. His 19-minute stint also included 3 turnovers.
But Pardo said management and the coaching staff have constantly encouraged Jalalon to simply play his usual game amid trade rumors.
"We told him that's part of business but as a player, he also can't let such news affect him," said Pardo. "But he's young, a Gilas player and he's one guy we're grooming to eventually take the place of (Mark) Barroca and Paul (Lee)."