UAAP: 'JLC' John Lloyd Clemente is NU's loyal leading man

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 13, 2018 05:12 PM
UAAP: 'JLC' John Lloyd Clemente is NU's loyal leading man
John Lloyd Clemente has long been primed for a starring role in NU

Long before Ildefonso brothers Shaun and Dave, John Galinato, Enzo Joson, Troy Rike, and Jonas Tibayan came to National University, John Lloyd Clemente was already reppin’ the blue and gold.

Clemente played three years for Nazareth School of NU and won one championship and two Mythical selections there.

In his first six games as a Bulldog, however, he didn’t get to make an immediate impact.

That all changed on Saturday as Clemente finally got to showcase all of the skills that made him a one-time King Bullpup – dropping a career-high 21 points on top of four rebounds in their much-needed bounce back win at the expense of University of the East.

All of it, and whatever is going to come after, is all for the school which gave him his golden opportunity.

“Siyempre, masaya ako kasi para sa NU ‘tong ginagawa ko. Lalo pa naming pagbubutihin para masuklian namin ng championship ang NU,” he said, reflecting on what is now his fifth year overall in NU.

Apparently, the versatile swingman just knew it was going to be his day. “Yung breakout game ko, na-feel ko talaga na kada shoot ko, pasok lahat. Parang ang laki ng ring para sa akin ngayong araw na ‘to,” he said.

He then continued, “Feeling ko talaga, gagawa ako ngayon. Yung teammates ko, hinahanap din kasi ako.”

One of those teammates was Dave Ildefonso, another first-year player the Bulldogs are relying on to do the heavy lifting.

Don’t make the mistake, however, of thinking that Clemente sees Ildefonso as a threat. “Wala namang pressure. Nag-eenjoy naman kaming maglaro nang magkasama,” he said about their relationship.

Indeed, the Bullpup-turned-Bulldog did nothing but welcome with open arms all their recruits from all over. “Para sa akin, ang laking tulong nila kasi alam naman natin sila, mga star player sila (sa teams nila dati) kaya feeling ko, mag-iiba yung culture ng NU pagdating nila,” he said.

He then continued, “Ang sarap ng feeling na maraming katulong sa team.”

Dave and Shaun Ildefonso as well as Joson came from Ateneo de Manila High School, Galinato and Tibayan came from Chiang Kai Shek College, and Rike came from the US. “Para sa akin, kung sinong nandyan, teammate ko. Silang lahat, brother ko sila,” Clemente said.

Still, all of those prized prospects, apparently, make it a point to push one another to get better.

In fact, there are times during practice that Clemente and Dave Ildefonso go at it. “Oo, minsan, nagbabantayan kami sa practice tapos minsan, naghahamunan din sa 1-on-1,” the former said through chuckles.

The fact that their two building blocks are already pushing one another is only a good sign for the faithful over at Sampaloc. As Clemente put it, “Five years pa kaming magkakasama kaya sa mga susunod pa, yung connection namin, dapat maging matibay pa.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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