Has NU finally found its post-Alolino point guard in Bartlett?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 19, 2017 01:47 PM
Has NU found its post-Alolino point guard in Bartlett?
NEWFOUND GLORY. Jordan Bartlett (middle of three players in photo) broke out for NU in only his second game in the UAAP.

Playing in only his second game and matched up against De La Salle University, Jordan Bartlett came through for National University.

Coming off the bench and out of nowhere, the erstwhile anonymous Filipino-American dropped a career-high 23 points in 69 percent shooting on top of four assists and four rebounds in the Bulldogs’ close 109-115 loss to the Green Archers last Saturday.

And according to head coach Jamike Jarin, Bartlett can only get better. “What you saw in Jordan was still an up-and-down game. He’s just gonna get better,” he said.

Without a doubt, Jarin was nothing but happy to see his rookie break out this early in his collegiate career. “I’m just happy kasi you just guide these kids. He did really play well today,” he said.

The first-year point guard came over from Maryland, USA a year ago – 13 years or so after his first trip here. “I first went to the Philippines when I was five then we lived here for maybe two years. But all I have from then are faded memories,” he shared.

He then continued, “So this is kind of my first time living here. So far, it’s all been a good experience for me.”

Bartlett’s return to his hometown was much welcome for NU which has been searching for steady hands at the point guard position ever since Gelo Alolino left.

All four of the Sampaloc-based squad’s four playoff berths from 2012 to 2015 had Alolino at he helm of the attack. After his graduation, they have tried and tested the likes of Rev and Chammy Diputado to mixed results.

Now, the Bulldogs have someone who had just gone toe-to-toe with Season 79 Rookie of the Year Aljun Melecio. “I use my quickness to beat people. I can attack and create for my teammates and it all starts with me pushing the ball,” he said.

He then continued, “That’s how I am with defense as well.”

And the blue and gold have even more reason to celebrate as their emerging force is raring for more. Asked if he’s ready for more responsibilities, he answered, full of confidence, “Of course!”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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