GUTSY pointguard Jiovani Jalalon literally treated the pain he's dealing with to an "athlete foot" as he still managed to play and turned up a big game on Sunday.

Jalalon, who is nursing an ankle injury, keyed Smart-CDO's pulsating 98-93 win over the Oro Grande in the NBTC-D League's battle of unbeaten squads at Xavier University gym.

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With only 3 seconds left in the regulation, Jalalon hit a 3-pointer--on top of his game-leading 15 markers--to force a deadlock. Another hero emerged for the Sacred Heart-powered Smart-CDO in overtime play.

Inspired by Jalalon's heroic effort, coach Boy Dacoco's trusted gunner in JK Casiño connected back-to-back treys that completely changed the game's momentum in overtime play.

"Coach Manny Diaz and his bunch of XU dribblers came close to winning that game for Oro Grande. But Jalalon made the difference with Casiño came up seething in the end. It was such an exciting game," said Arvin Martinez, head of the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Developmental League for Northern Mindanao area.

Nutri C, meanwhile, relied on the hot hands of Corpus Christi ace Ranz Ostrea in scoring another breathtaking one-point escape opposite BMEG-Pilgrim at the end of the league's first round matches.

The score:

Smart-Sacred Heart 98--Jalalon 15, Casi¤o 14, Lerio 13, Nemenzo 10, Jabagat 10, Bucag 9, Sabacdalao 6, Akut 6, Omila 6, Lastimosa 3, Macapayag 2, Neri 2, Paza 2, Bunsubre 0, Cox 0.

Oro Grande-XU 93--Palomar 15, Yaranon 13, Labitad 13, Flores 10, Quirit 10, Sol 8, Pagalan 6, Sabal 5, Mabanta 5, Racho 2, Abao 2, Malferarri 2, Lagbas 1, Gamos 1, Daytia 0.