Jamike Jarin preaches defense as NU Bulldogs eye return to Final Four after falling short last season
Jamike Jarin looks to steer the Bulldogs to the semifinals in his first season in charge. Dante Peralta

IT TOOK just two years for Coach Jamike Jarin to turn his program into silverware back when he was with San Beda.

And now that he’s finally making his UAAP collegiate debut as a head coach with National University, Jarin fully embraces the challenge of starting over again.

Jarin will now try to instill the culture of winning with this young NU squad, a culture that he enjoyed when he was with the Ateneo Blue Eaglets and the Red Lions.

He understands that it won’t be easy now, considering that he only has two players who have experienced winning a championship in the collegiate level in J-Jay Alejandro and Rev Diputado.

That’s why Jarin, as much as wins matter, will try to use the first few games to allow his players to ease into his system as they try to compete against more experienced squads in the UAAP.

“It’s the experience and the talent of just finding that someone and giving him the ball and taking over. That’s what we lack right now,” said Jarin.

That said, Jarin will look to run the same type of offense that he ran with San Beda where instead of relying on one guy, the whole team gets a share of the load on scoring.

“We’d like to do that. That’s always been my trademark,” Jarin continued.  

“This is a very young and inexperienced team. Hopefully after the first round we’re in a good position then the experience we got we’ll be used in this second round.”

Sizing up the field, the outspoken coach knows that they have a tall order ahead of them considering the top four squads last year will still be parading a solid line-up, while the rest of the pack has improved as well.

Never lacking in confidence, Jarin knows his team is ready to step up to the plate.

“Like what everybody said, there’s no sure wins right now. We have the top four last year, then UP got better, UE got faster, coach Boy’s (Sablan) team had his preparations for a longer period this time around,” he said.

“As long as we’re healthy, we play our game, we get a good lead and we get confidence during the course of the game, we’ll be fine.. as long as ano kami, 90 feet of defending and selfless basketball, we’ll be good,” he added.


They may be young, and a lot of folks may be counting them out early but Jarin and his boys are setting their sights high and that’s for them to crash the final four party.

From then on, who knows what a confident Bulldogs squad can do?

“Personal goal for us? Make it to the final four. It’s to do better than what NU did last year. If we make it to the final four then we’ll be good.”

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