Kat Tolentino is set to spread her wings as an Ateneo Lady Eagle for one last time.
When it seemed that her decision to forgo her final year of eligibility had already been set in stone, the Filipina-Canadian winger had a change of heart.
She is now bound for one last dance with the Ateneo Lady Eagles in the approaching UAAP Season 82 Women’s Volleyball tournament.
“Well, initially, I thought that because I graduated college and won the championship, it was time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life,” admitted Tolentino, who then suited up for the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in the PVL Open Conference. There, she emerged as Best Scorer at the end of the double-round eliminations.
“I have been in college for a while, and have played volleyball for well over ten years. So I just felt like I wanted to experience something different and start to play in the commercial league to make the most out of my volleyball career.
She then continued, “As much as I enjoy playing in the PVL, playing in the UAAP is a different experience. There is something so unique about the competitiveness of the UAAP that I feel is hard to recreate. The rivalry between schools is not just about playing for pride, but for something bigger than yourself.
“It’s also about playing for your teammates and for all those who’ve supported you.”
The last time the 6-foot-3 opposite hitter donned a blue and white threads was when Ateneo reigned supreme over Season 81, outlasting the Sisi Rondina-led UST Golden Tigresses in Game Three of the Finals.
Tolentino’s return is a welcome development for the proud Loyola-based program. Her vaunted offensive prowess will be a huge boost to Ateneo’s title-retention bid, while her veteran presence will be a much-needed one for a relatively young yet promising core of Lady Eagles.
“Very excited! I’ve been following the current Ateneo team, especially during the PVL Collegiate Conference, and I am proud to see how strong they are already,” Tolentino said.
“There’s still a few more months to prepare, and I look forward to being back with them and contributing in any way I can.”
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