NATIONAL University just showed how deep its arsenal is, brandishing its treasure trove of blue-chip recruits to snap its five-game losing skid.
The Bulldogs' youth revolution was in full display when they trumped University of the East, 88-61, Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena to end their first round campaign this UAAP Season 81 on a high note.
John Lloyd Clemente and the Ildefonso brothers Dave and Shaun came together to help NU ease its struggles, putting on their running shoes to break away with a superb second quarter assault to take a 24-point first half advantage, 52-28.
Clemente, the former Bullpups star, had his breakout game as he scattered a career-best 21 points on a 7-of-11 shooting, while also hauling down four rebounds off the bench as the Bulldogs rose to 2-5.
Dave Ildefonso's 14-point, 7-rebound, and 6-assist performance finally delivered a victory, as his brother Shaun contributed 12 points, four boards, and two assists in the win.
John Galinato also made his imprint as the rookie from Chiang Kai Shek gave NU its biggest lead at 31, 85-54 with 4:08 to play.
"I'm sure you noticed, for everyone who followed me when I was still in Ateneo and San Beda, everybody knows na the wealth is always distributed because I like it that way and tonight, it was in full display," said coach Jamike Jarin.
Issa Gaye also added 12 and 10 in the win to at least relieve the Jhocson-based crew the pressure after their forgettable run of futility.
"It always feels good to win. It's been a long time. I just got out of the hospital because I was in ICU because of the losses we had. I was clinically dead because of these young men, but there's more reasons to get up and work harder because of these young men, as well. That's why you get up and try to get up from the dead," Jarin joked, taking this one at the expense of his longtime assistant and now-Red Warriors mentor Joe Silva.
"We are dead right now, but we're gonna get up. Hopefully, we just keep on doing this and the results go in our favor."
UE suffered back-to-back losses to remain at the cellar at 1-6.
Alvin Pasaol's 20 points, nine rebounds, and two steals were for moot anew, together with Chris Conner's career-high 15 points.
NU 88 – Clemente 21, D. Ildefonso 14, Gaye 12, S. Ildefonso 12, Rike 6, Yu 4, Galinato 4, Diputado 4, Joson 2, Sinclair 2, Morido 2, Aquino 2, Salim 2, Tibyan 1, Malonzo 0, Gallego 0.
UE 61 – Pasaol 20, Conner 15, Manalang 10, Maloles 5, Acuno 4, Varilla 3, Bartolome 2, Beltran 2, Cullar 0, Strait 0, Sobrevega 0, Lacap 0, Gallardo 0, Guion 0.
Quarters: 23-19, 56-35, 76-49, 88-61.