UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Aldin Ayo would rather not see Mark Nonoy score 18 points again this UAAP Season 82.
And he has every reason to.
"The coaches want him to be a point guard, not a shooting guard. Hindi yan nangyari sa high school because they have a different program there, pero lahat ng mali ni Mark ngayon, tinatama namin kasi ngayon, gusto namin na maging point guard siya," the outspoken mentor said of his 5-foot-8 court general.
Nonoy hasn't been shooting well in his first seven games in the seniors division, going only on a 23-percent clip from the field.
But he rectified those on Saturday with his 45-percent shooting, including a 4-of-7 shooting from threes to notch a season-best 18 points in The Growling Tigers' loss to Ateneo on Saturday.
Yet for Ayo, he fears that this improved shooting would lead the La Carlota, Negros Occidental native to veer away from UST's plans of making him a pure point guard.
"To be honest, I'm worried he scored lots of points because supposedly, he has to make his teammates better. Kaya lang nagkataon kanina na siya ang nao-open eh. Next game baka maghanap siya ng maghanap which is not his role," he said.
"We want him to be a point guard. Hopefully next game, sana hindi 18 points. I want him to score 10 points, 12 points basta may 15 assists and matakbo yung plays namin and yung kalaban niyang point guard, basta di makapag-set, yun ang hinihingi ko sa kanya cause that's his role."
Ayo, however, shouldn't be worried as the 19-year-old Nonoy perfectly understands the niche the coaches want him to carve in the Growling Tigers.
"Sa akin, gusto ko din yung assists eh. Nagustuhan ko na din kasi masarap sa feeling pag nakapasa ka tapos nakashoot yung teammate mo. Parang doon ka humuhugot ng kumpyansa din kasi pinapaganda mo yung laro ng mga teammates mo," he said, embracing the team-first concept Ayo has harped in UST.
"Para sa akin, parang score din yan eh. Parang score na din pag nag assist ka. Hindi naman ito para sa akin lang kundi para sa team. Lahat kami makikinabang pag maganda yung pag-execute namin."
Nonoy knows that its a tough transition for him, especially with how he did a do-it-all role for the Tiger Cubs last season, where he averaged 21.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.6 steals, including three triple-double feats.
But he's willing to do his part as he fully entrusts his future to Ayo.
"Nagtitiwala ako kila coach dahil hindi lang para sa akin ito at hindi rin para sa kanila, kundi para rin sa future ko. Yun yung tinitignan ni coach para sa akin kaya gusto niya talaga maging point guard ako," he said.