17 June 2015,
Arellano University gymnasium,
John Lloyd Clemente is slowly but surely coming out of the shadows with his game.
Last season, Mark Dyke was the dominant big man of the National University Bullpups.
Dyke was the go-to guy underneath when the Bullpups fought for the championship honors of the 77th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) junior basketball tournament.
(The victorious NU Bullpups get their trophy from commissioner Robert de la Rosa).
Having graduated from high school last March, coach Jeff Napa looked for and found not one, but two fitting replacements.
And that’s Clemente and Justine Baltazar, who controlled the boards and helped power the NU Bullpups last Wednesday, June 16, to the junior division crown of the 21st Fr. Martin Summer Cup basketball tournament.
In that game, Clemente took charge with 17 points while point guard Daniel Atienza made 15 points for the NU Bullpups, who turned back San Beda-A, 71-56, in the winner-take-all finals at the Arellano University gymnasium in Legarda, Manila.
(John Clemente dribbling the ball).
“Teamwork po lahat ito,” said Clemente, a grade 10 student after the game.
The Bullpups broke free from the Red Cubs grip midway in the second period.
Atienza, who had 15 points, led the attack, including two charities in the last 1:06 which gave NU a 32-26 advantage.
(John Lloyd Clemente tries to drive past San Beda Red Cub Pedro Alfaro).
They then took a 12-point lead in the last 6:58 of the third canto, and off Karl Penano’s charities.
“It was in our team defense where the team got its confidence. Finally, in the third quarter, the team’s real game came out,” said NU coach Jeff Napa.
A triple from Niel Tolentino, and Atienza’s perimeter attack then saw the Bullpups moving away further, 47-32, with 4:46 left.
((Red Sam Abuhijle getting harassed).
In the end, the Bullpups, who kept their records clean with a 10-game sweep.
First, the Bullpups, who kept their records clean in Group A by sweeping their seven-game assignment.
They then outplayed the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs, 93-60, with Dave Camaso showing the way with 16 points in the quarterfinals.
(Karl Penano (4) gets in the way of Jeremy Mahinay (12)).
In the semifinals, Clemente drilled in 18 points, and Paul Manalang chipped in 16 to help NU get past the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas, 79-65.
It’s still a long way to go before season 78 comes around. But Napa believes that the team has time enough to get ready.
“Medyo bitin pa. But, still we got the preseason title,” he said.
(Addie Velasco grabbing possession).
First game (jrs)
NU 71- Clemente 17, Atienza 15, Baltazar 12, Penano 12, Careng 8, Tolentino 2, Callejo 1, Amsali 1, Jugar 0.
San Beda-A 56- Velasquez 13, Nelle 9, Bordeos 8, Mahinay 6, Abuhijle 5, Lagumen 4, Nayve 2, Tagala 2.
Quarterscores: 18-12, 33-26, 53-41, 71-56.
(Daniel Atienza takes a free throw).