PBA Philippine Cup

Though ‘going through a lot,’ Malonzo shines for Ginebra with career game

Delfin Dioquino

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Though ‘going through a lot,’ Malonzo shines for Ginebra with career game

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

PBA Images

Jamie Malonzo sets a PBA career-high in points in his first game back since figuring in a viral off-court fistfight

MANILA, Philippines – Jamie Malonzo admittedly struggled to tune out the noise after a harrowing experience that put him under the microscope.

But his play showed otherwise as Malonzo submitted one of the finest games of his PBA career, powering Barangay Ginebra to a triumphant Philippine Cup debut by way of a 113-107 win over Rain or Shine on Friday, March 8.

Malonzo fired a career-high 32 points on top of 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists, and 2 steals in his first game back since figuring in a restaurant fight that saw him get pummeled by an unidentified man.

“It’s just been tough, going through a lot, fighting through a lot. It hasn’t been easy. It’s difficult to cancel out all the noise and go out there and perform and focus on the game,” said Malonzo, who sustained bruises on his face.

“I’m just happy I was able to do what I did tonight and move forward.”

Malonzo conspicuously missed Gilas Pilipinas’ home blowout of the visiting Chinese Taipei in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on February 25.

National team head coach Tim Cone said Malonzo fell sick and needed to sit out.

Shortly after the game, though, a video of a seemingly disoriented man – speculated as Malonzo – getting beaten up in a restaurant made the rounds on social media.

Malonzo later confirmed his involvement in the fight.

Two weeks passed and Malonzo showed he is slowly but surely putting the incident behind him as he played with razor-sharp focus from the get-go against the Elasto Painters.

Malonzo erupted for 15 points in the first quarter to help his side build a 33-26 lead and the Gin Kings never let go of the upper hand on the way to handing Rain or Shine its third straight loss to start the conference.

Christian Standhardinger finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Maverick Ahanmisi put up 18 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists as he rose to the occasion amid the absence of injured star Scottie Thompson, who’s mending a back injury.

Japeth Aguilar and Stanley Pringle added 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win.

Anton Asistio posted 21 points and 4 rebounds, but he saw his best performance of the season go down the drain as the Elasto Painters stayed winless.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 113 – Malonzo 32, Standhardinger 18, Ahanmisi 18, J.Aguilar 17, Pringle 12, Cu 7, Pinto 5, Gumaru 3, Tenorio 1, Pessumal 0, Onwubere 0.

Rain or Shine 107 – Asistio 21, Caracut 16, Santillan 16, Mamuyac 16, Belga 9, Borboran 8, Norwood 5, Clarito 4, Datu 0, Demusis 0.

Quarters: 33-26, 58-52, 92-79, 113-107.

– 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.