PBA Philippine Cup

Jamie Malonzo finds solace in basketball, Ginebra after off-court dustup

Delfin Dioquino

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Jamie Malonzo finds solace in basketball, Ginebra after off-court dustup

SHOT. Jamie Malonzo in action for Barangay Ginebra in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Barangay Ginebra forward Jamie Malonzo credits the team for the support he has received as he tries to move past the ugly melee that put him under the microscope

MANILA, Philippines – On the court, Jamie Malonzo does not have to think about anything but basketball.

The Barangay Ginebra forward has found solace in the sport and his team after he caught unwanted attention following his involvement in an ugly melee that made the rounds on social media.

“It has been a lot for me. Just credit to my team, they’ve been holding me down, checking on me. Throughout that whole process, they have my back. I have to give credit to my team,” said Malonzo on Friday, March 8.

With all eyes on him, Malonzo turned in one of the best games of his PBA career as he steered the Gin Kings to a triumphant start in the Philippine Cup by way of a 113-107 win over Rain or Shine on Friday.

He finished with a career-high 32 points on a 5-of-9 clip from three-point distance to go with 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists, and 2 steals, taking charge for a Ginebra side missing injured star guard Scottie Thompson.

That kind of performance, Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone said, is a sign that Malonzo is slowly moving past that harrowing experience that left him with bruises on his face and a swollen eye.

“I think he has found… a sanctuary in practice and games. He is back to his comfort zone with his teammates,” Cone said. “It showed in his game that he can put everything behind and just move forward.”

“We’re actually really proud of Jamie and what he did and how he did and how he came back to practice and just let his game do the talking.”

The support from the rest of the team has been immense for Malonzo.

Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio said the players welcomed Malonzo back to the team without bombarding him with questions about the incident.

“The good thing about the team is there were no whispers. When he went to practice, it was just a normal day,” said Tenorio in a mix of Filipino and English.

“We really did not have to talk about it. Coach did not even have to tell us that we’re not supposed to talk about it. It is just the the culture of the team that we understand each other.”

If there were anything good that came out from that experience, Malonzo – according to Tenorio – is focused on basketball.

“He has a chip on his shoulder now. Not that he needs to prove himself, but to rise to the occasion after what happened to him, that is a real hard situation,” said Tenorio.

“I just told him that he’ll definitely learn from this and he’ll be a more mature person after this.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.