21 Jul Why Did the Basketball Prodigy from Cagayan de Oro, Jiovani Jalalon Wears Jersey No. 6?
Throughout the history of Basketball, Jersey numbers that have been selected by the players are usually coming off from birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates. It also includes numbers of their idolized basketball players, but Kagay-anon Jiovani Jalalon has a quite different story; he wears number 6 so that he can remember his family from Cagayan de Oro City.
Playing hundreds of kilometers away from his family seems so hard for Jalalon to take. One of Jalalon’s ease to counter the loneliness he felt away from his family is to wear a number 6 on his back. This number represents the number of siblings in their family which is 6. He is the third oldest in his siblings.
He said, “Masaya kasi kahit wala ako sa tabi nila, lagi silang sumusuporta sa akin sa TV.”
Jalalon is the early favorite of the 92nd edition of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to become the MVP, posting impressive stats: 20.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 2.8 steals through four games.
The school that he represents, the Arellano University Chiefs is also the favorites to win this year’s trophy due to Jalalon’s emergence as a star.
Jalalon did not just show his basketball prowess in the NCAA and local leagues in Cagayan de Oro before, he was also a major part of this year’s Gilas Pilipinas cadet team that won the gold in the recently concluded SEABA Cup held in Thailand.
Jalalon,”The Bus Driver” is likened to Jayson Castro,”The Blur” because of his speed and passing wizardry. Not that just he is a shooter, slasher, or a good playmaker, he also delivers in the clutch time, that made Gilas mentor Tab Baldwin and San Beda’s Jamike Jarin praise his excellence on the court.
Jarin said that Jalalon is the “best point guard in amateur basketball today.”