After winning Rookie of the Year, Nonoy eyes UAAP title for UST
MANILA, Philippines—Mark Nonoy achieved one of his goals when he was named Rookie of the Year this UAAP Season 82, but the University of Santo Tomas guard is not just about individual glory.
“I reached my goal of becoming Rookie of the Year and coach (Aldin Ayo) told me that I don’t need to introduce myself to the league anymore,” said Nonoy in Filipino after the Growling Tigers stopped Far Eastern University, 81-71, in their knockout stepladder semis Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“What we need to do now is to win. We have the awards but we have to win every game because [the championship] is the award we really want.”
Nonoy accumulated 39.29 statistical points averaging 10 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists helping MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo lead UST to an 8-6 record and the fourth seed in the tournament.
Chabi Yo had 76 statistical points and averaged 16.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists during the eliminations to become the league’s top player.
The duo’s feat marked the first time since 2009 that teammates were named MVP and Rookie of the Year after UST’s Dylan Ababou (MVP) and Jeric Teng (ROTY).
UST’s win against FEU in the stepladder pushed the Growling Tigers to their first semifinals appearance since their silver medal campaign in 2015 when they lost to the Tamaraws in the finals.
The Growling Tigers will face Season 81 runner-up University of the Philippines and Nonoy said they should not take the Fighting Maroons lightly despite sweeping them in the elimination round.
“We cant’t underestimate them because they’re a strong team,” said Nonoy, who had six points, four rebounds, and seven assists against the Tamaraws. “We’ve worked so hard during the summer and sacrificed a lot not just for the team but also for our families.”
“We’ll have to do our best to win against UP.”