Sep 12, 2021

No. 2 pick Malonzo finally coming on his own

JAMIE Malonzo is just having fun but at the same time, validating his claim as one of the top rookies in the PBA today.

The high-flying forward continues to play consistently for NorthPort and helping the team register back-to-back wins for the first time this season to be on track for a playoffs berth in the Philippine Cup.

The 6-foot-7 Malonzo had another steady performance in the Batang Pier's 104-84 hammering of Terrafirma for their third wins in six outings.

He finished with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting, grabbed six rebounds, and showed an array of dunk shots in his arsenal that wowed people watching at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.

Malonzo said the Batang Pier are doing everything as their way of honoring the team's entire coaching staff, which are currently under the league's health and safety protocols.

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"We go out there and dedicate the team win. We go out there and fight for them always," he said.

"I know coach Pido (Jarencio) is watching and he's probably mad (that) I'm out there bouncing the ball up on the floor and dunking," added Malonzo. "We're having fun and we're doing it for them. They know that."

Prior to his slam dunking show, the former De La Salle standout put up a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Batang Pier resumed their campaign with a 98-73 win over Blackwater in their first game in the Bacolor bubble.

But Malonzo coming on his own as he finally settles down in the league no longer surprised interim coach and team manager Bonnie Tan.

"I've been texting everyday si Jamie and I'm happy na nag-respond din siya," said Tan, who is also coach of reigning NCAA men's basketball champion Letran Kinghts.

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"You can see the potential ni Jamie, yung talent niya dito sa PBA, that he deserves to be the no. 2 pick overall."

Of the several dunks he threw down during the game against the Dyip, Malonzo had one particular favorite.

"I probably go with the windmill. I'm saving that for a long time. And I was telling Troy (Rike) I was going to get that one," he said. (RG)