Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero was glad to see his gamble to put Jio Jalalon late in the final frame and in the overtime period pay off.

Chito Victolero (PBA Images)

Jalalon put up a huge defensive stop against NLEX in its final possession which led to a Paul Lee game-tying trey in regulation. He then went on to work in overtime, scoring two straight layups before draining a triple that beat the shot clock and gave the Hotshots a 106-100 cushion with 1:49 left in the game.

Victolero then apologized to Jalalon during their post-game presser saying that he almost forgot the spitfire guard during the fourth quarter due to matchup problems against NLEX.

“I would like to say sorry to Jio. It’s my fault. Medyo nakalimutan ko siya nung fourth quarter,” Victolero said of Jalalon who wound up with 16 points in the contest.

“Actually, hindi ko naman siya nakalimutan. ‘Yung flow lang ng game. I don’t know kung ano ima-match-up ko sa kanya. Actually against NLEX, that’s my dilemma. I have a bad matchup against NLEX. All of their wing guys, guards are tall so we have a hard time matching up on Oftana and Trollano,” the veteran tactician further explained.

Due to the matchup problems, Victolero said he couldn’t play his usual three-guard combo that featured Jalalon along with Mark Barroca and Paul Lee.

In fact, during the overtime, Victolero opted for the Barroca-Jalalon backcourt even though Lee just drained the game-tying triple.

“Nung ginamit ko si Jio, he was ready. Sa mata pa lang, parang tinitignan niya, “‘Coach, magsisisi ka kasi hindi mo ako ginagamit.’”

Source: Manila Bulletin (