UST's Mark Nonoy has a new fan in fellow lefty playmaker Alex Cabagnot

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 26, 2019 05:31 PM
UST's Nonoy has a new fan in fellow lefty playmaker Cabagnot
Mark Nonoy just keeps opening eyes - even that of seven-time PBA champion Alex Cabagnot (Photo courtesy of 2019 NBTC Nationals)

All eyes were on Jalen Green and Kai Sotto as they clashed anew, this time in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC All-Star Game presented by SM.

Only, Mark Nonoy had other plans and used the exhibition as the stage where he put on a show.

University of Sto. Tomas' point guard of the future dropped 16 of his 23 points in the final frame - at one point, scoring 14 straight points to put the game away in favor of his team.

In the last four minutes, he outscored their opponents by his lonesome, 14-3.

And his last shot during that stretch was so good that even a Alex Cabagnot was left in awe - yes, that Alex Cabagnot who has hit many a clutch shot for dynastic San Miguel.

"Yung tira na yun, talagang napatayo ako doon," the Beermen guard said. "When he took that shot, there was no doubt in my mind na papasok yun. All night naman, he was hitting it so nung pumasok, napatayo ako doon."

Nobody could stop the lefty playmaker right then and there - not Jeron Artest, son of former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Metta World Piece, and not NCAA 94 Juniors MVP Joel Cagulangan.

Of course, if there's somebody who would know a thing or two about being a lefty playmaker, it would be Cabagnot.

And in the end, he had nothing but praise for Nonoy. As he put it, "You can't keep a good man down. Mark wasn't having a good game in the first half, but you can't keep a good man down."

He then continued, "Nagpursigi lang siya and tyinaga lang niya."

For the seven-time PBA champion, seeing the Tiger Cub turned Growling Tiger up close and personal was so much better than just hearing about him. "Actually, si (San Miguel teammate) Louie Vigil, sinabi na sakin siya before so alam ko na talaga kung sino siya. Na-scout ko na talaga siya," the former shared with a smile.

He then continued, "They I also saw him play before kasi I called his game in the (PBA) D-League when UST beat Cignal-Ateneo."

Still, Cabagnot challenged Nonoy to keep working. "Madami pa siyang kailangang gawin, pero he's under a good coach, in a good program. The best thing he can do is listen to his coach," he said.

He then continued, "Yung ceiling niya, mataas, but he has to work hard. What's sure is he's going to accomplish so many things."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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