Fil-Am high flyer Jaime Malonzo is making an upswing decision on his basketball career by declaring his desire to be the top pick in the PBA Rookie Draft.

/ 11 November 2020

Manolo made his name known in the basketball world after suiting up for the Mighty Sports team in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

The Portland State graduate also made an outstanding one-and-done stint with Green Archers in the UAAP Season 82 with an average stat line of 15.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals before making it to the Mythical Team.

Revered to have the renowned coach and retired player Danny Seigle as his mentor, the six-foot-six Malonzo is pleased with the tip-off he gets from legend. 

“We talk for hours at a time on the phone and he always has great insight for me. He’s always in my ear telling me things like think like a pro especially when it comes to the meals I’m eating and the stuff I put in my body, and to also study the players I will be playing against,” the former La Salle forward said in an interview explaining his conversation with Seigle.

Although he claimed that he does not have a team in mind, he seems to consider following his mentor’s old unit, San Miguel.

“I don’t really have a team of choice but I do want to be a part of winning culture,” Manolo told Spin.ph in an interview.

“I have spoken with my manager PJ Pilares and I am all ready to go,” He added.

After being denied in the PBA D-League, taking the top spot for the draft is his absolute goal. “I’d say the overall goal of mine is to be [the] first pick,” he expressed.

Malonzo is part of the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup with Marinerong Pilipino teaming up with Gomez de Liaño brothers Juan and Javi, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the League announced its postponement.

When the pandemic hit the country, Manolo went back to the United States spending his quarantine making some groundworks to improve his game. According to him, intense training and staying healthy is his everyday routine.

“Especially in these tough times not being able to do much staying safe, I’ve been trying to stay healthy while training. That has basically been my main focus.”

Through the days of tough grinding, he sets his goal to be the finest ballplayer in the country.

“There’s a couple of players I’ve been watching that I’d love to team up with, but I think that’s out of my control. I’m just ready to play in the PBA,” he expressed.