Jamie Malonzo admits going though tough times after viral incident

A clearly upset Jamie Malonzo admitted on Friday that he has been struggling after being involved in an unfortunate altercation that was caught on video.

The Brgy. Ginebra high-flyer had missed Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Chinese Taipei and then a video surfaced on social media showing him being punched inside a fast food restaurant.

“It’s definitely been tough. It’s been a lot for me. Just credit to my team, they’ve been holding me down, checking on me,” said Malonzo shortly after the Gin Kings slipped past Rain or Shine, 113-107, in their conference opener.

However, Malonzo appeared to push through the turmoil and exploded for a career-high 32 points along with eight rebounds, four blocks, three assists, and two steals.

The 6-foot-7 Fil-Am said his team is supporting him as he works through this difficult time.

“So, throughout that whole process, you know they have my back. So, I gotta give credit to my team. Yeah, it’s been tough, going through a lot, fighting through a lot,” said Malonzo who was clearly holding back his emotions during the post-game presser.

“Hasn’t been easy, you know, and it’s difficult to cancel out all the noise and go out there and perform and focus on the game. So I’m just happy I was able to, you know, do what I did tonight and move forward,” he added.

Meanwhile, coach Tim Cone said they are proud of Malonzo for overcoming this challenge.

“He’s found a sanctuary in practice and games, and I think that’s you know, back to his comfort zone with his teammates, that has really been the key for him. It showed tonight in his game that he can put everything behind and just move forward. So we’re actually really proud of Jamie and what he did tonight, and how he did, how he came back to practice and just let his game do the talking,” he said.

Cone also declined to answer any questions related to the incident during the same interview with reporters.

“I don’t think this is the platform to ask him about what happened. This is basketball. He doesn’t need to answer these questions,” stressed the concurrent national team mentor. “We should be talking about the game. I don’t want him here if we’re gonna talk about that then I want him to go back to the locker room. So either we move on from it or we talk about basketball at this point.”

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