By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Ilonggo John Bryan Sajonia quickly made a name for himself in the international 3×3 hoops scene after leading Gilas Pilipinas to a win over Jordan, 13-8, in the ongoing Asian Games last September 25, 2023, held in Hangzhou, China.
The former superstar of the Santa Clarita International School of Iloilo top-scored for the PHL national team after dropping six markers and eight rebounds.
With Jordan still taking a 2-1 lead in the first two minutes of the ball game, Sajonia checking into the game as a spark off the bench turned the tables for Gilas Pilipinas.
It was Sajonia who deadlocked the game at 2-all after a leftie layup generated from a blow-by drive from the left elbow.
After his first basket, Sajonia went unconscious from the shooting field and helped Gilas take full control of the game when he out-muscled Jordan in the paint to score a follow-up shot.
Sajonia then gave Gilas a two-point lead after a beautiful turn-around flip shot from the right block then rewarded big man Bismarck Lina off a pick-and-roll play.
The Ilonggo guard proved to be the jolt of electricity Gilas needed when they figured in a drought in the opening minutes against Jordan.
Sajonia then buried the dagger three-pointer with three minutes left in the game to give the PHL national team an 11-5 advantage.
It was then all Gilas in the remaining two minutes of the game as all of the guys took turns to score and locked down Jordan to secure their first win.
After the Asian Games, Sajonia will be back on the NCAA stage and is a current member of the San Beda Red Lions under head coach Yuri Escueta.