UAAP: Mark Nonoy takes coach’s advice, stars in La Salle victory
MANILA, Philippines — Mark Nonoy heeded La Salle coach Topex Robinson’s call to just keep shooting which led to his best game yet in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.
The graduating guard shot the lights out, hitting 7-of-11 from beyond the arc to finish with 25 points in La Salle’s 86-76 win over University of the East for its sixth straight win on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Bago mag-start yung game kanina sinabi sa akin ni coach Topex na kapalan ko lang ang mukha ko. So ginawa ko lang kung ano ang sinabi niya. Pasalamat ako kasi parang nakuha ko ang respeto niya and yung tiwala niya,” Nonoy said after the game.
The former UAAP Rookie of the Year caught fire in the fourth quarter, where he scored 12 points to keep UE at bay and help La Salle tighten its hold on the third place with a 9-3 record and a shot at a twice-to-beat incentive.
Nonoy also attributed his stellar showing to his teammates, especially Kevin Quiambao, who fed him for those three-pointers.
“Hindi ko naman makukuha ang confidence ko kundi dahil sa coaches at teammates ko. Sila ang nagpapalakas ng loob ko na ready lang lagi,” he said.
Robinson lauded Nonoy for embracing whatever role he’s given every game.
“When you define the team, I really admire the trust of Mark. I don’t know if you notice he’s really not playing a lot of minutes throughout the season but we didn’t hear anything from him. Actually, when I told him yesterday that he’s gonna start, he said that it’s ok even he will be a third-stringer. That’s how much he really believes in what we do,” said the La Salle coach. “He deserves to really have this game for him because going further down the season we need everybody to really contribute.”
As La Salle fights for the Final Four incentive in its last two elimination games, Robinson seeks to bring out Nonoy’s lethal four heading to the semifinals.
“We wanna bring back that Mark Nonoy that really gave a lot of our fans fun to watch. He just showed it. I’m so happy for Mark and I know that he will continue to grow and try to help this team in any way that he can,” Robinson said.