NU ROOKIES JAKE FIGUEROA, JANJAN FELICILDA MAKES IMPRESSIVE SENIORS’ DEBUT AGAINST FALCONS
Jake Figueroa showed a glimpse of his capabilities in his senior debut game with NU Bulldogs coming off a two-year layoff caused by the pandemic.
Despite his impressive performance and contributions in the victory, Figueroa admitted he felt first game jitters and pressure.
“Siguro may kasamang pressure kasi first time kong mag-laro sa seniors at kalaban ko pa school ko nung juniors ako,” he said.
The rookie with the Bulldogs started their campaign with a winning note as they win victory over Adamson Soaring Falcons, 71-69, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
The 6-foot-2 forward played for Adamson Baby Falcons in his high school career where he secured the UAAP Season 82 Juniors MVP with a record of 13.2 points, 14.2 boards, 3.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 blocks.
During his first game in the seniors’ division, the Kapampangan forward posted an average of seven points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field, to go with eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 16 minutes and 19 seconds of play.
Jeff Napa, who was promoted as head coach in the off-season, understood that his rookie is still making adjustments but he’s glad to see Figueroa lived up to his expectations.
“Alam ko kasi kung ano ang capabilities ni Jake. Dahil sa first game niya sa college level, siguro nag-aadjust pa rin talaga si Jake. Itong kasama ko rito, he’s still a rookie pa rin eh pero happy ako dahil nili-live nila yung expectations ko sa kanila at talagang nagde-deliver,” he said.
Napa is also expecting Bulldog’s younger wards to fast-track their maturity to be able to participate this season.
“Di lang naman sila. Lahat ng mga rookies, veterans, and sophomores, all the 16 guys talagang binibigay nila yung best nila,” he said.
Aside from Figueroa, Napa is glad to see his other rookie and Nazareth School standout Janjan Felicilda play for NU despite his former high school teammates transferring to other collegiate teams.
Felicilda also played a good game on his senior debut after scoring 14 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
“I’m also lucky to have Janjan. He has the heart of a Nationalian,” Napa said on Inquirer.net.
“As the tournament goes on, mas marami pa silang makikita sa kanya and sa other guys namin.”
NU 71 – Felicilda 14, Minerva 8, Clemente 8, Figueroa 7, Torres 7 Galinato 6, Gaye 6, Mahinay 6, Malonzo 5, Ildefonso 2, Manansala 2, Joson 0, Yu 0, Enriquez 0, Tibayan 0.
ADU 69 – Hanapi 20, Lastimosa 18, Sabandal 11, Douanga 11, Zaldivar 3, Manzano 2, Yerro 2, Colonia 1, Magbuhos 1, Peromingan 0, Jaymalin 0, Barasi 0, Erolon 0.
Quarters: 19-13, 38-28, 54-48, 71-69.