Slowly but surely, Zach Huang turning into UST's glue guy in UAAP 81

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 14, 2018 05:57 PM
Slowly but surely, Zach Huang turning into UST's glue guy
Zach Huang has become and indispensable part of head coach Aldin Ayo's rotation in UST

Zach Huang’s first three years in University of Sto. Tomas were, quite frankly, forgettable. 

Averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in just 8.2 minutes of action, without a doubt, he didn’t make the same sort of mark that he had when he suited up for Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in high school. 

For him, the uncertainty at the head coach post of the Growling Tigers during those years led to uncertainty with his development. “I didn’t handle it well. The first coach I had, siya nag-recruit sa akin and when we switched to another coach, I didn’t know how to handle it at first,” he told reporters. 

Bong Dela Cruz recruited Huang to go from Cebu to Manila in 2015, but when Boy Sablan took over from 2016 to 2017, he felt like he got lost in the shuffle. 

Finally in 2018, UST got some much-needed stability at head coach with one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach Aldin Ayo taking the reins. 

Of course, nothing was still certain for the 6-foot-4 forward, and so, he only kept working. “I just went with the flow. What I did was I just gave my all sa training and tinulungan naman ako ni coach,” he shared. 

With that, slowly but surely, he got the confidence he had long been looking for. “Wala akong ginagawang special. Yung sinasabi ng mga coaches, I just follow them,” he said. 

He then contineud, “I just do my part and then if may ginagawa akong mali, sinasabihan ako and i self-reflect and learn.” 

With his confidence at the highest it has been, Huang has been enjoying a breakout season with per game counts of 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 21 minutes – yes, more than triple of those in his first years. 

Along with that, Huang also delivered a career performance of 20 points and six rebounds for the Growling Tigers’ third win in a row on Sunday. 

And in his eyes, everybody on the team, not just him, is better under the guidance of coach Aldin. ”We’re more disciplined and organized. Everyone wants to share the ball and look for team scoring before mag-iso,” he said. 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. 

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