When the Far Eastern University Tamaraws were duking it out against the De La Salle University Green Archers last Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, Arvin Tolentino was sitting at home, watching his team fall 73-75.
Toletino was suspended for the game.
Last October 7, FEU had been on a receiving end of a beat down by the Adamson University Soaring Falcons. But in the fourth quarter of that contest and with the game already out of reach, Tolentino — who had already been assessed with an unsportsmanlike foul during the third quarter — was caught by the referees trying to kick Dawn Ochea, resulting in his ejection.
“It’s not about him, it’s about the team, ngayon magsu-suffer ang team dahil sa ginawa niya,” said head coach Olsen Racela after the game.
“Nung nanonood ako medyo masakit din sakin eh kasi siyempre pag napapanood ko yung teammates ko na lumalaban, nahihirapan, naisip ko na dapat nandun ako, natutulungan ko sila,” recalled Tolentino of what had been going through his mind as he watched the Tamaraws from his home.
“But wala eh. Yun yung consequence sa nangyari.”
In his first year with the Tamaraws, the 6-foot-5 stretch forward is averaging 11.0 points and 5.1 rebounds. Though his presence would not have automatically translated to a win, what he regrets is that he was not able to fight with his brothers.
“Honestly it’s a stupid thing. Di naman namin kailangan ng ganun. Siguro nadala lang ako dahil tambak kami. A little too aggressive. I tried too hard. Yun yung naging resulta – stupidity,” the 21-year-old admitted, “Guilty naman ako sa nangyari and I apologize to everybody kung sino man naapektuhan, especially sa Adamson. I’m sure one hundred-percent di na mangyayari yun.
“Lesson learned talaga.”
And Tolentino made sure to make amends to his team by tallying an efficient 13 points and five rebounds in just 11 minutes of game time during FEU’s 96-70 win against the University of Santo Tomas, Sunday afternoon