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PG > SG: UST coach Ayo grooms Mark Nonoy to become playmaker in PBA

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The UST Growling Tiger may have lost the game against Ateneo Blue Eagles on Sunday, but Mark Nonoy proved to be the team’s silver lining.

The shifty guard registered a career-high of 18 points on four-of-seven shooting from beyond the arc.

Normally, most coaches would recognize their players for filling up the scoring sheets, but not UST head coach Aldin Ayo.

The two-time titlist mentor insisted that the 19-year-old’s job for the team is to be the team’s playmaker, since he only tallied one assist during the game.

“To be honest, I’m worried he scored lots of points because supposedly, he has to make his teammates better. Kaya lang nagkataon kanina na siya ang nao-open eh. Next game baka maghanap siya ng maghanap which is not his role,” said Ayo.

“The coaches want him to be a point guard, not a shooting guard.”

The former UAAP Junior’s MVP is still getting accustomed to his role as a facilitator, since he used to be the go-to guy for the Tiger Cubs last season.

“Hindi yan nangyari sa high school because they have a different program there, pero lahat ng mali ni Mark ngayon, tinatama namin,” he shared.

Ayo even set the standard high for Nonoy, as he is grooming his prospect to become a PBA player in the near future.

“Gusto naming point guard siya. He really has to because walang shooting guard sa PBA na 5-8.”

For Nonoy, he is always more than willing to buy in to Ayo’s system.

“Sa akin, gusto ko din assists eh. Mas mapaganda (laro) ng teammate ko and then lalo na sa akin kasi parang score din yan, parang score na din pag nag assist ka. Nag-adjust na ako sa play ko pero hindi ko alam kung bakit eighteen points ako,” he shared.

Although Nonoy’s ability to make plays for the Growling Tigers is still a work-in-progress, he believes that Ayo knows what’s best for him and the team.

“Mahirap pero nagtitiwala ako sa kanila coach dahil hindi lang para sa akin (ito) and hindi rin para sa kanila kundi para sa future ko. Yun yung tinitignan ni coach para sa akin kaya gusto niya talaga maging point guard ako,” Nonoy stated.