ZACH Huang continued his solid season under new coach Aldin Ayo, delivering his best performance in a Tigers uniform as University of Sto. Tomas made it three straight wins in UAAP Season 81.
The veteran forward credited a “more disciplined and organized” system under Ayo for UST’s 78-70 win over Far Eastern University, saying everyone chipped in to gift Ayo a big victory ahead of his 41st birthday.
“Extra motivated lang kasi birthday ni coach Aldin,” said Huang. “Nung last season, wala talaga kaming tinalo sa FEU so this is a statement.”
The 6-foot-3 forward set a career high with 20 points and also had six rebounds as the Tigers snagged their third straight win and moved back to .500 at 4-4.
For Huang, who averaged 2.3 points in 8.2 minutes in his first three years, it was all about listening to the instruction of his coaches, and working on the things that he was called out for.
“Wala akong ginagawang special. Yung sinasabi ng mga coaches, I just follow them. I just do my part, and then if may ginagawa akong mali, sinasabihan ako, I self-reflect from it and I learn from what the coaches say,” said Huang who is averaging 9.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 21 minutes a game this season.
“We’re more disciplined and organized now. Everyone wants to share the ball and look for team scoring before mag-iso(lation),” he added.
As impressive as Huang is playing now, Ayo believes the former Sacred Heart School–Ateneo de Cebu standout still has more to give.
“You have to see how he works, how he practices. Makikita niyo na yung lumalabas pa diyan, kulang pa e,” Ayo said.
“Grabe to magtrabaho e,” he added.
One of the qualities which makes Huang special according to Ayo is how he always keeps his composure inside the court, regardless of what happens to him on the floor.
He doesn’t back down from anyone, making him a perfect fit for Ayo’s system, but he’s also level-headed enough to let his game do the talking when pushed.
“Veteran na si Zach pero he’s one of the players na nabibigyan, sa practice or kahit saan. Pero good thing he’s tough. He’s tough mentally. Gusto lang niya maglaro,” said Ayo.
“That’s Zach. Kasi putok lagi dito, sa scrimmages namin, pinapagpag lang eh. And naka-focus lang lagi sa objective namin which is to compete and magkaron ng magandang resulta sa ginagawa namin. “