MANILA, Philippines — Mark Nonoy is grateful to new La Salle coach Topex Robinson for slowly bringing back his confidence ahead of his final playing year in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.
Nonoy, who was once a Juniors MVP and Rookie of the Year when he was still with University of Santo Tomas, felt like he is going through a rebirth as Robinson continues to bring back his confidence after the sudden drop in his production for the past two seasons.
“Ang laki ng pasasalamat ko kay coach,” said the 5-foot-8 guard while holding back tears as the Green Archers remained unbeaten in the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup. “Tinuruan niya kaming ibalik yung confidence namin kasi all these years, parang nawala yung confidence ko.”
(I’m really grateful to coach. He is teaching me to bring back my confidence because all these years I lost my confidence.)
Robinson, who was appointed as the Green Archers coach early this year, sees an uncanny resemblance in his game from the speed to the defensive instincts of the La Carlota, Negros Occidental native.
“And the color, too,” joked the former PBA player. “He’s really exciting to watch and I’m really happy to have him.”
The La Salle coach hopes Nonoy will continue to build on his confidence, which will make him one of the best guards in the UAAP today.
“The good thing about Mark is his confidence is so important. He will make mistakes, but it’s OK to make mistakes. And I tell these to the guys that if you have a shot, shoot it with confidence. It all rubs off from there, that if they’re doing well, they make sure to bring the other guys with them. He’s one of our selfless leaders,” said Robinson.
As he plays his final UAAP season, Nonoy is determined to prove his worth and promises that he won’t let his team and the La Salle community down.
“Yung mga kasabayan ko nung Season 82, lahat wala na sa UAAP at nasa ibang bansa na. Pero sa akin, mag-focus lang ako at mag-stick ako dito, na yung kulang sa team ibibigay ko,” he said. “Lahat ng struggles ko sa family, basketball career ko, ibubuhos ko na kasi ito na yung last playing year ko.”
(My batchmates from Season 82 are no longer in the UAAP. They are playing overseas. But for me, I will stick here and focus on my team. I will give my all in my last playing year after all the struggles from my family and basketball career.)
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