Head coach Jamike Jarin said that National University’s (NU) 86-81 stunner over Gilas Pilipinas Cadets in the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup on Tuesday night at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City, is a sign that his wards are maturing.
“We’re maturing right now. Like what I’ve been saying, this group of young men have the talent and the skill,” said Jarin.
The Bulldogs erased a 12-point deficit in the first half then pull off a blistering run en route to posting its maiden back-to-back wins for a 2-3 win-loss record in Group A.
“They’re going to be good in the coming years. The reason why I keep on saying ‘coming years’ is because they are very young. So, we need to fast track their maturity. But right now, we’re maturing every game,” said Jarin.
National U was down, 72-77, after Kobe Paras poured nine points via an 11-0 Cadets rally with under four minutes left in the game. John Galinato, Enzo Joson and Shaun Ildefonso joined forces as the Bulldogs retaliated with its own 11-0 blast that brought the score to 83-77 with 19 seconds left. John Lloyd Clemente iced the game with a sneaky basket off an inbound play.
Jarin praised rookie guard Galinato and second year forward Clemente for their big games. Clemente notched a game-high 23 points on top of seven rebounds and three assists while Galinato posted 20 markers highlighted by three triples.
“I’m just fortunate that I’ll be able to coach these young men. As you can see how John Galinato and John Lloyd Clemente play, I’m just very happy that they’re committed to NU. I’m just so fortunate to have a talent like that and they are just going to get better because they have a great attitude,” said Jarin.
Even Jong Uichico, mentor of the “23-for-23” squad, was impressed with the performance of the two young guns. “Maybe give them a chance to join the Gilas Cadets,” he said lightheartedly.
Uichico expressed concern as his Cadets inch toward the brink of elimination with a dismal 1-5 slate. He was nonetheless satisfied with his wards’ improvement.
“I’m just concerned on how we’re playing and how we’re improving every single day which I think we are having now,” he said.
In the Group B matches earlier, Adamson University had a winning debut surviving Colegio De San Juan De Letran, 83-80. Even University of Sto. Tomas has entered the win column at the expense of the winless Jose Rizal University, 98-88.
Sean Manganti scored 20 points while Papi Sarr and Jerrick Ahanmisi chipped in 13 and 11 markers, respectively, to tow the Falcons to their first victory. Bong Quinto had a game-high 24 points plus 11 rebounds but his effort was not enough to save the Knights from dropping to 2-2.
Veteran playmaker Renzo Subido and Kenneth Zamora sank clutch baskets for the Growling Tigers, who grabbed a breakthrough win after two defeats. Subido finished with 24 points, Zamora added 13 while Darius Estrella had 22 for the Heavy Bombers, who slid to 0-4.