Jiovani ‘The Bus Driver’ Jalalon elevates Arellano Chiefs to greater heights



As I was interviewing former PBA star and Arellano University Chiefs coach Jerry Codinera in the press room of the NCAA, he was just very thankful that his debut coaching job in the collegiate basketball has taken him in the 2014 Finals against the San Beda Red Lions. Asked about believing in beginner’s luck charm, coach Jerry quipped, “I still believe in luck and my trust in my players”. One of the reasons why the Chiefs catapulted in the Finals game that year would be Jiovani Jalalon, the spitfire guard of Arellano University Chiefs. Two years hence, the coach-player tandem would be looking into a potential ‘team-to-beat’ and title contender.


Born Jiovani Jalalon on August 2, 1992 to Vicente Jalalon and Jocelyn Jalalon, this 5’10” point guard from Cagayan De Oro City is now a 2nd year college BSBA Marketing Major at Arellano University. He was awarded as NCAA’s Most Improved Player, and is included in this year’s Mythical Five.


Even former SBC coach Boyet Fernandez of the San Beda Red Lions credited him for his basketball prowess. “Come to think of it, He’s always holding my players. Let’s give credit to this guy. He is the most improved player and he’s in the mythical five. He’s one of the best


guards we have now in the league. The energy that Jiovani brings with Arellano is just too high that I don’t think we can match with” quipped Fernandez.


Asked how he balances both basketball and his studies, “If it’s practice time, I go hard and when it comes to class time, I make sure to concentrate on my studies” said Jalalon. His favorite basketball move is spend move. He scored his career high of 21 points in the NCAA season 90 against San Sebastian Stags and Jose Rizal University. The player who he said was the hardest to guard in the league is Colegio de San Juan De Letran Knights guard Mark Cruz. In the NBA, he likes the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, while in the PBA, he looks up to Talk and Text guard and Gilas Pilipinas member Jason Castro. Some of the most memorable games he had last year were against Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in a triple overtime classic, their nail-biting win versus the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, and their game against the 5-peat champs San Beda Red Lions.



A: Paolo Fule | P: Noel Tonido

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