Arellano guard Jio Jalalon impresses TNT’s Jayson Castro during rare NCAA visit

TNT combo guard Jayson Castro went back to his basketball roots on Thursday following a rare visit at The Arena in San Juan to watch the games in the 92nd NCAA men’s basketball.  

Unknown to many, the 5-foot-8 Castro starred for Philippine Christian University several years back, along with current Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga.

He particularly watched the Arellano-Perpetual Help game, where Chiefs playmaker Jio Jalalon caught his attention.

“Sa NCAA, nakikita ko si Jiovani Jalalon,” the 30-year-old Castro said, aware that the Arellano go-to-guy can score using his quickness and is an excellent passer as well.

Jalalon, a Cagayan De Oro native, has been making heads turn this season. In fact, if not for his ongoing commitment for Arellano, he would have played for Gilas 5.0, which is preparing for the FIBA Asia Challenge in Tehran, Iran next week.

The TNT combo guard said he sees a lot of himself in Jalalon during his days with the Blue Dolphins.

“Almost same kami nung college ko kasi nung college ko kasi kaya ko ring dumipensa,” shared Castro.

“Sa kanya, kitang-kita ko paano sya dumipensa, at pinaka-importante kung paano nya ii-involve yung team mates nya,” he added.

Outside Jalalon, Castro believes the NCAA is pregnant with talent, especially the ones coming from multi-titled San Beda and Perpetual, which produced current Ginebra rookie Scottie Thompson.

“Marami akong nakikitang may potensyal. Halos lahat naman ng team may player na magaling, especially sa Arellano, San Beda, Perpetual,” the two-time Best Point Guard in Asia said. – John Bryan Ulanday

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