National U Bulldogs enlist PH youth starBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Vying to turn itself into a league contender, National University taps another Philippine youth team star to boost its UAAP men’s basketball campaign.
Rodolfo “J-Jay” Alejandro III committed Sunday to suit up for the Bulldogs just months after starring for the national under-16 team and the Mapua Red Robins in the NCAA juniors division.
“He’s a very talented player and we’re glad to have him under our tutelage,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
The Bulldogs finished just a rung shy of the Final Four last season with versatile rookie Ray Parks leading the Bulldogs’ campaign.
Parks, also a former national campaigner, bagged last year’s Most Valuable Player plum after finishing in the top 10 of every statistical category.
And the Bulldogs hope to field a dynamic duo with Alejandro also coming off an impressive high school stint, where he averaged a league-best 25.4 points.
A six-foot shooting guard, Alejandro also scored a staggering 46 points in a single game aside from averaging 4.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals for the Robins.
“I think NU’s basketball program will help me develop my skills more,” said Alejandro. “They’re a young team and I’m looking forward to contribute.”
Alejandro served as team captain of the youth team that secured a semifinal finish in the Fiba Asia U16 tournament in Vietnam last October.
The 16-year-old cager, who averaged 12.5 points in the tournament, also drilled 34 points in the team’s second-round game against Japan.
Behind the chief backing of tycoon and SM Prime Holdings president Hans Sy, the Bulldogs have been beefing up in the varsity front, including tennis and baseball.