MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort has slowly clawed its way to the PBA Governors’ Cup playoff race and this is thanks in large part to the sustained play of Jamie Malonzo.
Stepping up for the depleted squad, Malonzo helped steer the Batang Pier to back-to-back victories that have fueled their drive for a quarterfinals berth as he clinched the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the period of February 23 to 27.
Malonzo averaged 16.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1 steal against Magnolia and Phoenix to key NorthPort to their third straight win, a major turnaround from their horrendous 0-5 start.
The rookie out of La Salle started the week with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks as the Batang Pier pulled off arguably the biggest upset of the conference with a stunning 103-101 triumph over the erstwhile unbeaten Hotshots.
Undefeated in its first six games, Magnolia saw its winning streak come to a screeching halt with Malonzo teaming up with import Jamel Artis and Arwind Santos for a NorthPort crew that missed the services of Robert Bolick (Gilas Pilipinas duty) and Kevin Ferrer and Jonathan Grey (injuries).
Malonzo then churned out a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds to go with 1 assist and 1 block in a 101-93 win over the Fuel Masters for a triumphant weekender.
To make the feat more impressive, Malonzo fought through the pain of a finger injury as the Batang Pier climbed their way out of the cellar all the way to ninth place, just a spot below the last quarterfinals seat.
Malonzo bested Santos and Barangay Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson for the citation following a close decision by reporters covering the PBA beat.
The towering Gin Kings duo of Japeth Aguilar and Christian Stanhardinger and the NLEX pair of Jericho Cruz and Kevin Alas were also considered for the award. – Rappler.com