National University continued its rebuild by securing the talents remaining in its boys’ basketball program.
Big man PJ Palacielo, a Bullpup, has committed to the Bulldogs.
“Meron na kaming foundation ngayon. At least ngayon, unti-unting nare-redeem ‘yung mga nawala sa amin. Unti-unti na naming na-regain ulit, kaya nag-start kami sa recruitment,” said Napa.
During the extended off-season, the Bulldogs lost out on former Bullpups Kevin Quiambao, Carl Tamayo, and Gerry Abadiano. Dave Ildefonso also transferred to Ateneo.
Palacielo, 18, is still in Grade 11 and will be eligible for the UAAP Season 85 tournament.
“Masaya kasi kahit high school pa lang ako, may offers na agad sa’kin,” expressed Palacielo.
“Pinili ko ang NU kasi dito ko feel na mas malalabas ko ‘yung talent ko and nandito din ‘yung puso ko sa school na ‘to. Tsaka siyempre, ‘yung tiwala ng management sa akin, gusto ko suklian kasi kahit nasa high school pa lang ako, ni-reready na nila ‘ko for college ko.”
The 6-foot-5 power forward would have made his UAAP Boys’ Basketball this year, but saw the season scrapped due to the ongoing pandemic.
Despite not getting to play yet for the Bullpups, the native of Tanay, Rizal was called up to be part of the Gilas Youth pool back in 2019.
“Dapat ngayong taon breakout year niya pero pandemic. Sayang at hindi siya na-expose ngayon,” said Napa.
With one year still left in high school, Palacielo looks to work on his physicality to better prepare him for the collegiate game.
“Siguro need ko mag palaki ng katawan and need ko din mas i-improve ‘yung ball-handling ko and speed kasi ibang competition na sa college eh — mas malalaki and mas malalakas na kalaban,” said Palacielo.
“Kaya habang nandito pa ako sa high school nag-reready na ako para ‘pag college ko, ready ako sa challenges na haharapin ko.”
Palacielo joins Reyland Torres as former Bullpups who will stay on with the Bulldogs.