NU’s Clemente owes career game to teammates
National University’s campaign in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament is already down in the dumps having lost its 10th game in 13 outings, but there was one shining silver line amid all that misery.
Rookie John Lloyd Clemente was an offensive sight to behold in the Bulldogs’ 79-74 loss to Far Eastern University with the hot-shooting youngster setting the season-high in points for any player this season.
Clemente’s 38 points surpassed the previous record set by University of the East’s Alvin Pasaol when he put up 36 points in the Red Warriors’ 90-76 loss to Adamson University in the first round.
“I just felt that I knew my shots would go in because I already had a good shooting. I was already hot in our last game,” said Clemente in Filipino Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Coach Jamike (Jarin) told the team to just look for me so I thanked my teammates especially Dave [Ildefonso] who was always looking for me during the game.”
Ildefonso is usually the first offensive option for the Bulldogs and his 16.2 points per game average attest to that but with Clemente finding his groove he had no choice but to be a playmaker.
The former Blue Eaglet still had 12 points and he also dished out seven assists, way more than his 2.4 average.
Clemente, who had 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting in NU’s previous game, added that he also wanted to take a crack at the three-point field goal record of 10 triples in a single game.
There are two players who own the single game three-point record of 10 threes and those are Philippine basketball legend Allan Caidic, who played for UE, and Clemente’s own high school coach Jeff Napa.
Napa, who’s also an assistant coach with the Bulldogs, is also NU’s joint record holder for most points in a game with 43 while the other owner is Arnel Sunga.
“I told coach Jeff that I wanted to break his record but I couldn’t break his record,” said Clemente. “But I still have four more years to break that.”
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