UST’s Nonoy eyes more assists in coming games after setting career high in loss to Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines—Mark Nonoy just had his best offensive game in the collegiate level for University of Santo Tomas but head coach Aldin Ayo would’ve wanted his young point guard to be a pass-first point guard.
Ayo said that he would much prefer Nonoy to be a facilitator than a scorer in the Growling Tigers’ 66-52 loss to defending champion Ateneo in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.
Nonoy finished with a career-high 18 points, on 5-of-11 shooting, with three rebounds but only one assist. The freshman who spent just one year with the Tiger Cubs said he is open to heed Ayo’s wishes in becoming the Tigers’ floor general.
“Personally, I’d like to get more assists so I can make my teammates play better because getting an assist is just like scoring,” said Nonoy in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I agree with them that my play isn’t just for my individual gain but also for the team’s improvement as well. Every one of us would benefit if we execute properly and dish out some extra passes.”
Nonoy was a scoring guard for the Tiger Cubs in Season 81 when he averaged 21.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.6 steals but Ayo believes it’s time for the rookie to change things up a bit, and that is becoming a pass-first guard rather than being a ball-dominant scorer.
Ayo said there were mistakes during Nonoy’s upbringing in the Tiger Cubs’ system wherein the 5-foot-8 guard was used as a wing and the head coach believes his stocky rookie should start being a floor general in preparation for the future in the pros.
“The coaches want him to be a point guard, not a shooting guard,” said Ayo, who’s won one NCAA title with Letran and a UAAP championship with De La Salle. “That didn’t happen in high school because they have a different program there, so we’re correcting the mistakes here in college.”
Nonoy, who averaged 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in the first round, said he would heed Ayo’s call for a change in play especially if it means involving his teammates more and preparing him up for the PBA.
“It’s a great feeling when you pass to your teammate and he makes a shot because that’s where you get your confidence because you’re helping your teammates,” said Nonoy.
“Coach Aldin is already looking forward to the future because he knows he won’t be my only coach in my basketball career and he only wants what’s best for me so I can adjust quicker in the future,” added Nonoy.
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