MANILA, Philippines — Mark Nonoy is grateful to new La Salle coach Topex Robinson for slowly regaining his confidence ahead of his final year in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.
Nonoy, who was the MVP of Juniors and Rookie of the Year while he was still at the University of Santo Tomas, it felt like he was going through a rebirth as Robinson continued to regain confidence after his output dropped dramatically over the past two seasons.
“Ang laki ng pasasalamat ko kay coach,” the five-foot-8 guard said, holding back tears as the Blue Archers remained undefeated in the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup. “Tinuruan niya kaming ibalik yung self. trust namin kasi all these years, parang nawala yung is not confident.”
(I am really grateful to the coach. He is teaching me to regain my confidence as I have lost confidence all these years.)
Robinson, who was appointed as Green archer trainer earlier this year, noticed an uncanny resemblance to his game from the pace to the defensive instincts of La Carlota, the Negros Occidental native.
“And the colors too,” the former PBA player joked. “He’s really fun to watch and I’m really happy to have him.”
La Salle’s coach hopes Nonoy will continue to build his confidence, which will make him one of the best defenders in UAAP today.
“The good thing about Mark is that his confidence is very important. He will make mistakes, but that’s okay. And I tell these people that if you have a chance to shoot, shoot with confidence. It all started from there, that if they did well, they would definitely bring others along. He’s one of our selfless leaders,” said Robinson.
As he played his final UAAP season, Nonoy was determined to prove his worth and promised that he would not let his team and the La Salle community down.
“Yung mga kasabayan unburnt Season 82, lahat wala na sa UAAP at nasa ibang bansa na. Likewise, mag-focus lang ako and mag-stick ako dito, na yung kulang sa team ibibigay ko,” he said. “Lahat ng struggled with family ko sa, basketball career ko, ibubuhos ko na kasi ito na yung played last year.”
(My buddies from Season 82 are no longer on UAAP. They’re competing overseas. But for me, I’ll stick here and focus on my team. I’ll give it my all. himself in his final year of competition after all the hardships from his family and basketball career.)
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