NU has all the pieces, but can they put them all together?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 02, 2018 07:33 PM
NU has all the pieces, but can they put them all together?
Enzo Joson will have much-welcome reinforcements in NU's big-time batch of blue-chip recruits

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 5-9, sixth

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Issa Gaye, Enzo Joson, Jonas Tibayan, Dave Wilson Yu

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: John Lloyd Clemente, John Galinato, Dave Ildefonso, Shaun Ildefonso, JV Gallego (returning), Joshua Sinclair (returning)

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: J-Jay Alejandro, Jordan Bartlett, Matt Salem, Chino Mosqueda (injured)

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM NU?

National University is not messing around as it tries to put an end to its three-year playoff drought.

Even though they lost longtime starters J-Jay Alejandro and Matt Salem, the Bulldogs are all set to welcome blue-chip recruits in the form of Ildefonso brothers Shaun and Dave, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato.

“Right now, we’re excited that we got a very talented team, but it’s a very young team.” – head coach Jamike Jarin

We named NU the 2018 king of recruiting because of that – and so, nothing less than immediate impact is expected from the Ildefonsos, JLC, and Galinato.

“Of course, it’s make or break for everybody – for the entire school, for the entire team.” – head coach Jamike Jarin

If all goes well, the new blood will fully fill in the holes beside Senegalese tower Issa Gaye, second-year playmaker Enzo Joson, and stalwart Dave Wilson Yu.

More than the rookies, however, head coach Jamike Jarin wants and needs all his holdovers to take another step forward for the Bulldogs to live up to the hype.

“We’re so young and the experience that we have is not enough. It has to be a combined effort to make us competitive.” – head coach Jamike Jarin

WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM NU?

Gaye has a chance to claim the vacant spot of best foreign student-athlete – only if the tall and long-limbed Senegalese tower plays up to his potential.

At the wings, NU is brimming with talent in veteran DWY, returning JV Gallego and Joshua Sinclair, and first-year players Shaun and Dave Ildefonso, JLC, and Galinato.

“JLC, Dave Ildefonso, Josh Sinclair, those are the guys that you will see in the long run.” – head coach Jamike Jarin

The issue that persists, however, is at point guard – as it always has been since Gelo Alolino left. Rev Diputado is as steady as they come and Joson can turn into a problem for opponents as a big guard, but both of them have no time to waste and have to become masterful generals for all the weapons the Bulldogs have.

WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR NU?

NU is, hands down, the 2018 king of recruiting. That means that most of the top talent from this year’s recruitment class will be donning blue and gold.

The youth movement is well underway and, coupling that with head coach Jamike Jarin’s uptempo attack, there is no doubt that the Bulldogs will be nothing but fun to watch.

Get ready for a lot of running and gunning when the NU Bulldogs will be let out.

WHERE WOULD NU BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 81?

NU will be fighting for a playoff berth – make no mistake about it.

“We’re gonna play with a lot of heart. We’re gonna give a scare to the entire UAAP.” – head coach Jamike Jarin

Unlike the likes of favored Ateneo, intact Adamson and FEU, reloaded La Salle, and primed UP, all of whom we know what we’re going to get, we’re still not sure how the Bulldogs look like when they finally play together in the UAAP.

When the veterans and the new blood perfectly co-exist, then look out for the Bulldogs. Otherwise, however, add one more year to that playoff drought.

WHEN IS NU’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 81?

NU trots out its stacked lineup up against rebuilding UST and coach Jamike will be matched up once more opposite coach Aldin Ayo on September 7.

Of course, It All Begins Here on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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