College rivals Thompson, Jalalon cross paths anew in PBA
Last time Scottie Thompson and Jiovani Jalalon faced off, magic happened.
Dazzling the collegiate league with their awe-inspiring game, the young studs made history as both notched triple-doubles with Perpetual and Arellano waging war in the NCAA Season 91.
The Jalalon-led Chiefs topped the Thompson-bannered Altas, 84-77, in overtime last September 4, 2015 in what was regarded as one of the best games that season.
Jalalon tallied 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists, while Thompson finished the game with 24 markers, 12 boards, and 11 dimes.
Fast forward a year later. With the two taking their act to the pro league and ushering in the new era of elite guards in the PBA, the best buds cross paths anew and what better way to add another layer to their storied rivalry with a “Manila Clasico” on Christmas Day.
On what could probably be the biggest stage in their young professional careers inside the biggest venue in the country at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Jalalon takes his streaking Star against Thompson’s powerhouse Ginebra crew on Sunday.
And the two couldn’t wait for this tantalizing face off.
“I think a lot will be excited because it’s Manila Clasico. Even if I’m friends with Scottie, it will be different on the court,” said the Cagayan de Oro-born Jalalon.
Thompson, a Digos native, expressed excitement over facing Jalalon for the first time in the PBA but said, “Whatever happens, we will still be friends.”
But heading into the match up, both are focused on delivering for their respective teams and not just on outsmarting each other.
“I think we’re getting into our game. I want to focus more on my defense. Whatever coach Chito tells me to do, I’ll do it. If Scottie and I guard each other, I know that we’ll just be playing our games,” said Jalalon.
“We really need to win. We have to correct our mistakes especially against Star, and we have to do it in practice because that’s where we have to start it,” said Thompson.
Star is in the middle of the pack at 3-2, while Ginebra is not far behind at 2-3.
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