Better forgotten: Guiao joins call to move on from Malonzo incident

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Ginebra Gin Kings’ Jamie Malonzo in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

Jamie Malonzo played for nearly 40 minutes on Friday night, putting up a new career-best scoring mark and leading Barangay Ginebra to a triumphant 113-107 debut over Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup.

In a way, it was an emphatic return from a tumultuous February that saw him figure in a drunken scuffle that went viral on social media.

His club coach Tim Cone, the squad’s elder statesman LA Tenorio, and even the opposing mentor that night all hope it’s the resolution he—and everyone else needs to finally move on.

@inquirersports #JamieMalonzo talks about getting his career-high 32 points in #Ginebra’s win over #RainOrShine in the #PBA #PhilippineCup despite the noise surrounding him. #fyp #tiktokph #sports #basketball ♬ original sound – INQUIRER Sports

READ: PBA: Jamie Malonzo overcomes ‘tough’ times en route to career night

“It’s [been] a test of character, but we all just saw that he has recovered well from it,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said late night on the heels of the match at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We really don’t want to make comments on that anymore because we’ve already seen (with how he played) that we can now all set that [incident] aside for him to focus on what he needs to do,” the fiery mentor, who also once served as a national coach, added.

Malonzo poured 32 points in the victory, pulling down eight rebounds that went with four blocks and a pair of steals. All that with his left eye still showing traces of blood clots and bruises still visible across his forehead.

READ: Jamie Malonzo apologizes after fistfight video goes viral

“I was just telling him in the dugout that I was very proud of him—that after what happened, he was able to play in such a way,” said Tenorio, an 18-year veteran who has also worked alongside Malonzo in the national basketball program.

Malonzo said that picking himself up has been challenging, and he has been battling through a lot.

“It hasn’t been easy,” he said, his voice trailing off after each pause. “It’s difficult to cancel out all the noise and go out there and perform and focus on the game. But I’m just happy that I was able to do what I did tonight and move forward.”

READ: PBA: Jamie Malonzo pours 32 as Ginebra defeats Rain or Shine

Cone, the current Gilas coach, says the incident is irrelevant at this point.

“I think … it showed tonight in his game that he can put everything behind and just move forward,” he said.



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Guiao feels the same way.

“I think it’s better forgotten. Stop focusing on it,” he said. “Let him move forward.”





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