Ever since the National University Bulldogs turned around their fortunes eight years ago, they have recruited some of the best high school prospects the country has to offer. But even with those stalwarts, none have come close to breaking the scoring record of Jeff Napa.
Napa’s 43-point outing back in August 22, 2002 has stood the test of time, even if it has faced stiff competition.
Former league Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. set his UAAP career-high back in September 18, 2012, finishing with 35 points in an 86-87 loss to the DLSU Green Archers. On the other hand, Jjay Alejandro tallied 31 markers back in October 5, 2016 in a 75-78 loss to the FEU Tamaraws.
Sunday afternoon, the record was once again in danger.
Rookie John Lloyd Clemente had already scored 32 points in three quarters against the Tamaraws. However, the 6-foot-3 swingman only managed six points in the final frame to fall five points shy of breaching Napa’s record.
Napa, who serves as consultant for the Bulldogs, was impressed with his student’s outing. However, the NU great believes that his former ward with the NU Bullpups needs a little more polishing in his offensive game.
“Okay naman ang performance niya, marami lang pilit, masyadong gigil,” shared Napa after the game as Clemente had 25 attempts in the game.
“Akala niya siguro ganun kadali yun, nung nag-settle down, nakuha niya ulit, ganun pa rin. Bata pa rin, matutunan pa rin niya yun along the way.”
Napa believes that Clemente could have broken the record if he had allowed the game to come to him, not the other way around.
“Kaya kanina kinakausap ko kasi nanggigil masyado sa three pointers eh. Yun ang sinabi ko sa kanya, don’t settle for three points,” lamented Napa, as Clemente shot just 5-of-14 from distance. Napa was able to reach 43 after knocking down 10 triples in the contest in a 98-92 win over the Adamson Soaring Falcons.
“Two points, three points pareho lang yan.”
All records are meant to be broken. But until then, Napa only has one piece of advice to the Bulldogs who are trying to do so.
“Definitely, basta makuha lang niya yung tamang sikreto, mahirap gawin yan kung pangsarili lang iisipin mo,” Napa said.
“Good luck nalang sa kanya at sa mga nagbabalak na kumuha ng record ko.”