UAAP: Pumaren hails La Salle guards for stepping up for Nelle

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2022 07:53 PM

La Salle's Mark Nonoy (24) stepped in for Evan Nelle against UST. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN NNews.
La Salle's Mark Nonoy (24) stepped in for Evan Nelle against UST. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN NNews.

MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle University did not miss a beat even with top point guard Evan Nelle sitting out against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Wednesday evening.

Nelle sat out due to fever, according to La Salle head coach Derick Pumaren. 

"He practiced Monday, but he was under the weather na. Then yesterday he did not practice," explained the coach. "We thought that resting him might help, but he still has fever."

But the Green Archers flaunted their depth in the point guard position against UST, with Mark Nonoy and Penny Estacio turning in solid performances.

Nonoy slid in for Nelle in the starting five and contributed three points, four assists, four steals, and two rebounds in 24 minutes. Estacio, meanwhile, had six points, four boards, and an assist in a reserve role.

The Green Archers broke the game open in the third quarter and went on to win comfortably, 83-63. 

"That's the beauty of the game," Pumaren said in praise of his back-up guards. "When somebody's out, somebody steps up. Mark Nonoy filled in Evan's starting role. Penny also had a good game today as a backup for Nonoy."

"[I'm] really happy, and I hope they keep doing that," he added.

As a whole, La Salle played very well against UST -- a welcome sight for Pumaren after the Green Archers collapsed against defending champion University of the Philippines (UP) last Saturday.

"We fell short last game, we were not able to close out the game, but we cannot dwell on that," said Pumaren after the Green Archers hiked their record to 1-1. 

"The season just started. I’m happy with the way the boys played. They responded positively. They stepped up and faced the challenge."

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