MANILA, Philippines—Jayjay Alejandro had someone special watching in the stands during Phoenix’s win over NLEX in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at Araneta Coliseum.
Buoyed by his son’s attendance, Alejandro spearheaded the Fuel Masters’ comeback by unleashing 15 of his career-high 18 points in the fourth quarter.
“This victory was so sweet because my baby was there. It was his first time to watch a PBA game and to see me play,” said Alejandro, who went 6-of-9 from downtown in just 18 minutes of action in the 113-101 victory.
“Even though [I got] limited minutes, I have to play my best… I just got it from everyday practice, when you keep practicing it you’ll get the confidence.”
It was an impressive showing by Alejandro, who fired five 3-pointers in the final frame including three in a row to start the fourth that gave Phoenix its first lead, 87-86, after trailing by as many as 16 points.
But his coach Jamike Jarin was hardly surprised by Alejandro’s performance.
If anything, Jarin said Alejandro’s play was just a reminder of how good he is dating back to his UAAP days.
“You know, with Jayjay, I think people forget that he was a Mythical Five member in the UAAP in his final year so he’s capable of really producing,” said Jarin.
Alejandro’s final season at NU was under the guidance of Jarin.
“I’m fortunate enough to be with him because I coached him in his final year in NU so we really have a relationship on how to handle and do things.”