MANILA, Philippines -- After reaching the finals in his first -- and as it turned out, only -- season with University of Santo Tomas (UST), point guard Mark Nonoy wants to go even further with his new school.
Nonoy, who transferred to De La Salle University in the wake of the Sorsogon bubble controversy that has decimated the UST men's basketball program, said his ultimate goal is to bring the Green Archers back to the top of the UAAP.
"Ito kasi 'yung chance ko na maabot 'yung pangarap ko, to be a champion sa UAAP," Nonoy said in a recent appearance on "2OT," when asked why he chose La Salle out of all schools that came calling.
Nonoy played one season for the Tiger Cubs before moving up to the UST seniors program, where he immediately made an impact. With former head coach Aldin Ayo giving him plenty of opportunity, Nonoy averaged 11.1 points, 3.83 rebounds, and 2.78 assists in Season 82.
He won Rookie of the Year honors and was a big factor in UST's Cinderella run to the finals, where they lost to Ateneo de Manila University.
Now, as a Green Archer, Nonoy is looking forward to another opportunity to reach the UAAP pinnacle.
"Kaya pinili ko 'yung La Salle, kasi alam ko na matutulungan ko sila, matutulungan nila ako at isa lang ang goal namin, para makuha 'yung championship," he said.
In La Salle, Nonoy will be mentored by Derrick Pumaren, who took over as La Salle head coach in January. He will have plenty of help in the backcourt as well, as former San Beda University standout Evan Nelle transferred to Taft earlier this year.
As early as now, Nonoy is already looking forward to his partnership with Nelle when they both take the floor in Season 84.
"Excited na ako makapaglaro kami," he said.
When told that they are already being dubbed as the new generation of "The Fast and the Furious" -- after the iconic Ginebra backcourt of Mark Caguioa and JJay Helterbrand -- Nonoy said he welcomed the comparisons.
"I can accept the challenge," said Nonoy. "Siguro, normal naman sa tao ang challenges."
"Siguro, kung ganoon, sige okay lang, panindigan namin. Gawin lang namin ang best namin, maging teammate kami. Sana matulungan namin 'yung isa't isa saka 'yung team," he said.