In his fifth year with the University of Santo Tomas, many expected Zachy Huang to be the team captain for the Growling Tigers.
So it came to a surprise that the team’s coaching staff tasked second-year guard CJ Cansino to be the team’s skipper.
Still, Huang knows that he could not be the vocal leader of the Growling Tigers since he is not that type of a person.
“I’m not really a vocal person, but I want to show my teammates how to be a good example.
“I show them that we need to develop good habits outside the court and everyday sa court. We also go together outside the court kasi I’m not really vocal,” said the 21-year-old product of Ateneo de Cebu.
The 6-foot-4 forward has led by clear example all season long.
Last year, Huang averaged 22.7 minutes per game to post norms of 8.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. He started in 12 games.
Nine games into the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Huang only started in four games to average just 4.13 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists.
And it’s because he knows that some of the team’s new recruits deserve their time to shine.
“Kailangan talaga. It’s not about me kasi,” he shared.
“I’m willing to take a step back if that’s what the team needs. If my teammates are more talented than me, I’m willing to step down for as long as we get the win.”
But when asked, Huang can still deliver.
Figuring in a two-game skid, the Filipino-Chinese forward stepped up against the UE Red Warriors. He dropped a career-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go along with five boards.
True to his character, he deflected all the credit to his teammates.
“Masaya. Masaya, but I have to give credit sa teammates ko because they were looking for me early in the game and they were playing unselfish basketball. Lahat kami nagtutulungan sa court kanina,” he expressed after UST’s dominant 101-73 bounce-back win.
Besides making it to the next round, Huang’s goal is to be a more well-rounded player before leaving UST.
“I always want my game to be complete. Last year I barely took threes. Coach is always telling us and preaching to us to not limit ourselves and there’s always room for improvement,” he shared.
“Basketball is a game of repetitions.”