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Pumaren confirms Nonoy and Cuajao's transfer to La Salle

UAAP Season 82 Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao are finalizing their transfer to the De La Salle Green Archers, head coach Derrick Pumaren confirmed to ESPN5.com on Monday.

Nonoy, who starred for the Growling Tigers in their finals run, started in six out of 18 games and averaged 11.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists for Aldin Ayo. He will be sitting out Season 83 and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Pumaren said that the 5'8 Nonoy will contribute greatly to the team with the departure of Aljun Melecio.

"He will be a big addition for the team and it's a preparation for the graduation of Aljun," Pumaren said in a message.

Nonoy, in an Instagram post, bid goodbye to University of Santo Tomas and thanked the school for the opportunity to play for the past two years.

"Unang-una po sa lahat, nagpapasalamat po ako ng buong puso sa buong UST community, na binigyan nyo po ako ng opportunity na ipakita po kung anong galing meron ako and I'm very thankful sa lahat ng coaching staff lalong-lalo na po sa kay coach Aldin Ayo na nagtiwalang kumuha sakin mula sa province to Manila at nagbigay sakin ng kumpiyansa pag dating sa court at sa pag guide nya sa akin kahit off the court upang maging mabuting tao," said Nonoy.

"Habambuhay ko tatanawin ang utang na loob ko po sa kanya kasi kung hndi dahil sa kanya wala po ako sa kinatatayuan ko ngayon,"

"Napakabigat man para sa loob ko, kinakailangan ko ng katiyakan sa aking career para makapagfocus ulit sa basketball. Dahil ilang weeks na akong binabagabag ng kung ano ang kahihinatnan ng atin team. Ano man natutunan ko sa UST dadalhin ko yan habambuhay saan man ako mapunta. Akin po munang kokonsultahin ang aking pamilya para sa mga susunod na hakbang na aming gagawin," Nonoy added.

Cuajao also bid farewell on Twitter, thanking Ayo and the UST community for supporting him.

"Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanila at minolde nila ang aking pagkatao. Hanggang sa huli, umaasa akong magkakaron ng linaw at maayos na patutunguhan ang team despite sa lahat ng pinagdaanan namin. Mabigat man ang loob ko, kinakailangan ko na talaga magdesisyon at maghanap ng katiyakan para sa career ko dahil dito ko binubuo ang pangarap ko para sa pamilya ko," he said.

Cuajao played in 12 games for UST in Season 82, posting averages of 1.1 points, 1 rebound, and 0.3 assists. However, it was in the PBA D-League where Cuajao made his mark, posting averages of 17.5 points on 56.3% three-point shooting in two games played for UST.

Nonoy and Cuajao are the latest names to bolt UST in the wake of the controversial training "bubble" in Sorsogon.

Team captain CJ Cansino joined the UP Fighting Maroons, while Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and Ira Bataller transferred to the Letran Knights. Jun Asuncion, meanwhile, went to Mapua.