THE reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy and teammate Deo Cuajao were welcomed to the De La Salle University Green Archers camp by basketball program backer Atty. Mans Carpio on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
Nonoy and Cuajao, along with Team Phenom Sports president Jackson Chua, travelled to Davao City to personally meet the new La Salle backer.
Nonoy and Cuajao are the latest players to bolt the troubled University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers men’s basketball team in the wake of the alleged illegal training camp that was conducted in Sorsogon during the quarantine period.
Carpio, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science back in 1998, played a huge role in the recruitment of Nonoy and Cuajao, as well as Kevin Quiambao and Cebu’s own Isaiah Blanco-Hontiveros -- the son of Cebuano hoops legend Dondon Hontiveros -- to La Salle.
For Carpio, his goal is to help bring homegrown basketball standouts to one of the country's most illustrious collegiate programs.
"Through the years, La Salle has become one of the biggest and proudest collegiate basketball programs in the country. My goal is to open the doors of the school to more homegrown players who cannot afford to study there through sports," said Carpio.
Nonoy actually hails from Negros Occidental, while Cuajao is from Davao.
"That is the true meaning of the Animo spirit," said Carpio.
Nonoy, a 5-foot-8 floor general, averaged 11.11 points, 3.83 rebounds, and 2.78 assists per game during his freshman season in the UAAP to capture the prized Rookie of the Year award.
Nonoy and Cuajao will have to sit out one year before being eligible for the UAAP Season 84 tournament. (JNP)