Dream come true for Iloilo cagers Beliran, Nonoy after taking Ayo offer to join UST Tiger Cubs
Western Visayas coach Vincent Conlu with his wards Mark Nonoy and Jean Raven Beliran, who are set to join the UST Tiger Cubs. Reuben Terrado

SAN JUAN, Ilocos Sur — Hua Siong College of Iloilo coach Vincent ‘Bing’ Conlu expressed confidence that Mark Nonoy and Jean Raven Beliran can both make waves when they move to University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP.

Conlu confirmed Nonoy and Beliran will be part of the UST high school team next season, saying they are capable of making key contributions for the Tiger Cubs in their lone eligible year as incoming Grade 12 students.

“Si Mark Nonoy, sharpshooter sa three-points. Tremendous speed. Mako-compare ko sa mga Fil-Am ‘yung explosiveness,” said Conlu, a former Far Eastern University cager in the late 1990s, in an interview with SPIN.ph here at the Palarong Pambansa.

“Si Beliran, three-point shooter din, high-leaper. He can dunk two hands at 5-foot-9. Both are very athletic,” he added.

Conlu, who is the coach of the Western Visayas selection in the Palarong Pambansa, said no less than UST seniors coach Aldin Ayo recruited the two players in Iloilo.

“Very flattering kasi ‘yun lang naman gusto ng coach, ‘yung para sa player na ‘yung future nila, ma-set at sa magandang school sa Manila mapunta at sa UAAP pa,” said Conlu.

The 17-year-old Nonoy said he is happy that he will get a free education in Manila.

”Napakasaya po kasi ‘yung pamilya ko, hindi na magbabayad ng tuition na ganun kalaki. Papasalamat ako kay God na binigyan niya ako ng skills na ganito,” said Nonoy.

Nonoy added he will only play his role with UST as he moves to Manila to play for the Tiger Cubs.

“Tutulong lang ako kasi junior pa lang ako. Bago pa lang ako sa experience sa Manila,” said Nonoy.

For his part, Beliran said it is a dream come true for him to play in the UAAP.

“Masarap sa feeling kasi pangarap ko rin ‘yun. Pangarap ko rin maging UAAP player. Maglalaro lang ako ng maayos, magdi-depensa tapos gawing proud ‘yung mga tumitingin sa akin at sa team,” said Beliran.

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