Malonzo: Finals not a moment to come up ‘empty-handed’
Count high-leaping forward Jamie Malonzo among those still in awe with how his year has panned out.
From joining Barangay Ginebra, to getting the break of a lifetime via a Gilas Pilipinas callup, to contending for a PBA title—the do-it-all sophomore is having quite a year.
“It’s something I think about all the time. Sometimes it does (sink in), sometimes it doesn’t,” he told the Inquirer on Friday, during the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup Finals kick-off presser at Novotel Manila in Quezon City.
“It all happened so fast. It was quite an eventful year,” he went on with a smile.
Even as a newcomer, Malonzo swiftly became an integral cog in the Ginebra machine—on both ends of the flooor at that. He has been the second-finest scorer for the club in the second tournament, racking up 13.6 points—just behind the prolific Justin Brownlee. He also leads the crowd darlings in steals with 1.8 and is second with bocks with 1.1 per contest.
Not lost on Malonzo is the thought that such a moment is fleeting and could never be replicated as his cage career plods along. So the Filipino-American standout plans to make the most out of the moment.
For Malonzo, that begins in the Gin Kings’ race-to-four duel with the visiting Bay Area Dragons this Christmas Day at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Moments like this,” Malonzo said while shaking his head. “I hate to sort of just come out of these moments empty-handed. These are very important, especially with this one being my first Finals.”
“I don’t want to end this conference empty-handed. We’re here now. We’ve put all the work to get to this point, so finishing it off would be the last touch.”
“And then work on the next conference,” he said.