Home Editors' Picks Injured Nonoy’s La Salle debut will have to wait a little longer

Injured Nonoy’s La Salle debut will have to wait a little longer

By John Bryan Ulanday

MARK Nonoy’s debut for host La Salle will have to wait a little longer after sitting out the Green Archers’ 71-66 win over University of the East (UE) to cap off University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 84’s opener over the weekend at the Mall of Asia Arena.

One of the most anticipated players in UAAP’s return following his transfer from Santo Tomas, Mr. Nonoy is apparently nursing a hamstring injury according to coach Derrick Pumaren.

Mr. Pumaren said they are taking their sweet time to fully heal Mr. Nonoy’s injury before fielding him into play for a much-awaited backcourt partnership with Evan Nelle from San Beda.

“We’re making sure he’s 100% healthy. We’ll see in the next couple of days if he’ll be ready. We’re looking at the long term here, not just the short term,” said Mr. Pumaren in a triumphant La Salle return at the expense of his former squad UE.

Without Mr. Nonoy in the meantime, La Salle leaned on a scattered attack led by another new guy Schonny Winston with 22 points. Mainstay Justine Baltazar (12), Mr. Nelle (11) and Bright Nwankwo (10) threw in help.

Once cleared, Mr. Nonoy is expected to deliver big time as UAAP’s best rookie in Season 82 before its two-year break due to the pandemic behind averages of 11.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists with the Tigers.

Save for the Negros Occidental product though, new and returning stars in the UAAP shone bright for their respective squads in the opener led by Gilas Pilipinas guards Dave Ildefonso and RJ Abarrientos.

Mr. Ildefonso, who returned to Ateneo from NU, sizzled for 19 markers in the Eagles’ 91-80 win over UP while Abarrientos drained 18 in his debut as FEU trumped Santo Tomas, 76-51.

Bulldogs rookie Janjan Felicilda also impressed with 20 in NU’s 71-69 escape act against Adamson, which was led by another freshman Didat Hanapi with 20 of his own.

Despite the losses of their squads, CJ Cansino (21), Malick Diouf (18), and Carl Tamayo (13) of UP together with Joshua Fontanilla (19) also had solid campaigns with their new teams.