MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle University on Tuesday officially welcomed the pair of Mark Nonoy of Deo Cuajao, who transferred from University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Nonoy and Cuajao left the UST men's basketball program in the wake of the "Sorsogon bubble" controversy. They are just the latest players to bolt from España, following the departure of former team captain CJ Cansino and rising star Rhenz Abando, among others.
Together with Jackson Chua, the president of Team Phenom Sports, Nonoy and Cuajao flew to Davao City on Monday to meet the new backer of the De La Salle men's basketball team, Atty. Mans Carpio.
Carpio, a product of La Salle, played a huge part in recruiting Nonoy and Cuajao, as well as former National University high school star Kevin Quiambao to the Green Archers.
"Through the years, La Salle has become one of the biggest and proudest collegiate basketball programs in the country," Carpio said in a statement.
"My goal is to open the doors of the school to more homegrown players who cannot afford to study there through sports," he added. "That is the true meaning of the Animo spirit."
Nonoy and Cuajao played a season for the Growling Tigers, with Nonoy quickly emerging as a star after averaging 11.1 points, 3.83 rebounds, and 2.78 assists on his way to winning Rookie of the Year honors.
Cuajao, meanwhile, totaled just 13 points in his first season with UST but showed his potential during the Tigers' stint in the PBA D-League. There, he averaged 17.5 points while shooting a blistering 56.3% from beyond the arc in two games played.
The two players will sit out one year before becoming eligible for the Green Archers in Season 84.