UAAP: JLC learned to shoot like that from an NU legend

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 11, 2018 03:28 PM
UAAP: JLC learned to shoot like that from an NU legend
An NU legend is teaching a current NU star how to shoot lights out

John Lloyd Clemente was white hot for National University all throughout their matchup against Far Eastern University on Sunday.

“Actually, start of the game pa lang, nararadaman ko nang mainit ako e,” he told reporters after he dropped 38 points, the highest output from a player this season, in a losing effort. “Then start ng second half, ayun, hindi na ako nagmimintis. Nagulat na nga lang ako sa mga tira ko, lahat pumapasok e.”

Along with a morale-boosting win for the already-eliminated Bulldogs, Clemente actually had a more personal goal in mind. “Last game kasi, first half pa lang, nakalimang three points na ako so sabi ko kay coach Jeff, ibe-break ko record mo. Ganun din ngayon,” he shared.

The first-year player was referring to Jeff Napa, his former coach in Nazareth School of NU and who now serves as consultant for the school’s Seniors squad.

Before being a coach, Napa once set a milestone, scoring 43 points built on a league record-tying 10 triples back in 2002.

Fast forward 16 years and his milestone was put under siege in back-to-back games by Clemente.

Last Wednesday, the scoring swingman had 19 points, 15 coming from five triples in the first half, and five days later, he dropped 38 points while scattering five triples.

Safe to say, Clemente wasn’t able to match Napa’s firepower in a single game. “Kaya lang, ‘di ko na-break e. Yun talaga yung target ko sana e kaso ‘di ko magawa,” he said through chuckles.

Interestingly, the man whose record Clemente is trying to break is the same man who has been his long-time mentor. “Si coach Jeff, parang tatay ko na rin yan. Siya talaga yung mentor ko,” he said, talking about their relationship which led to one championship in their time together with the Bullpups.

And as it turns out, it’s actually Napa who has been overseeing Clemente’s transformation from a master of the midrange to a deep-range marksman. “Siya nagturo sa akin paano mag-shoot. Pagdating ko sa NU, ang pangit talaga ng shooting form ko tapos siya, nakita ko, ang ganda ng pitik niya,” the latter said.

He then continued, “Tinanong ko teammates ko kung player ba siya dati tapos sabi nga nila na mag record nga raw siya. Mula pa noon, talagang tinuturuan na niya ako paano mag-shoot.”

For being his mentor from then until now, Clemente is nothing but thankful for Napa. As he put it, “Si coach Jeff naman, alam kong gusto rin niya akong maging successful in the future.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that Napa’s record is already safe. “May four years pa ako. Kaya pa yan,” Clemente said, restressing that he intends to go for the same milestone his mentor has.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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