Soft-spoken Nicholls lets his long-range bombs do the talking

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 19, 2015 02:07 PM
Soft-spoken Nicholls lets long-range bombs do the talking
BOMBS AWAY. Zach Nicholls has turned into one of the league's premiere perimeter threats.

A season ago, Zach Nicholls was a relative unknown: a situational player Arellano University used if they needed to open up the floor.

The ongoing NCAA tournament clearly isn’t the same as last year for the third-year guard with him breaking out into the scene via averages of 12.6 points in 36 percent shooting from deep while playing 23.7 minutes per contest.

Now a featured player in the Chief’s high-octane offense, Nicholls told ABS-CBN Sports, "Feels good to have a big role and help carry the team to wins."

Former Arellano head coach Koy Banal is the cousin of Nicholls’ grandmother and was the one who convinced the kid who grew up in Vancouver to head back home. The 22-year-old recalled that he went to Manila for the first-time in 2012 and immediately longed to just return to Canada.

Fortunately, family and teammates urged him to keep going. “After a while, I got focused and started to like it. After all, my goal is to play in the PBA.”

The long-range bomber showed enough development to gain the confidence of now head coach Jerry Codiñera who in return, gave him the confidence to play a huge role in the Chiefs’ reinforcement of their contention. Asked if he also considered this to be his breakout year, Nicholls answered, “I like this year cause I'm getting playing time, but I've been ready ever since.”

Nicholls shared that to get his mind ready, he has to make 100 triples and another 100 shots inside the arc every after practice. That dedication has translated into an All-Star recognition for the once relative unknown.

“It feels really good. I hope this continues,” he said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.


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