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Seizing opportunities leads to Mike Tolomia’s career game



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Seizing opportunities leads to Mike Tolomia's career game Basketball News PBA  PBA Season 42 Norman Black Mike Tolomia Meralco Bolts 2017 PBA Governors Cup

It’s no secret that Mike Tolomia had been underutilized by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the two conferences he played there. And so the 24-year-old heaved sigh of relief upon learning that he had been traded to the Meralco Bolts last August.

“Excited ako na makapaglaro under sa kanila and tingin ko marami akong matututunan,” said the rookie point guard earlier that month, days after the trade — which involved fellow Gilas Cadet Ed Daquioag — had taken place.

And now, the Bolts are benefiting greatly from that deal.

The Orangemen played the Alaska Aces on Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. And in that game, the Zamboanga City native delivered what he can bring to the table for Meralco — something the E-Painters had failed to see.

The Far Eastern University product, now in his fourth game with the Bolts, punched in a career-high 24 markers in nearly 26 minutes of action, 17 points coming from the first half alone, which also saw him nail five three-pointers.

And ultimately, Meralco reigned victorious over Alaska, 106-78, inching closer to a twice-to-beat edge for the 2017 Governor’s Cup playoffs.

“He’s going to get an opportunity with us,” said head coach Norman Black.

“He really didn’t get that opportunity in Rain or Shine because they have so many guards there… He’s gonna have an opportunity every single game.”

The champion coach emphasized the term “opportunity” when talking about Tolomia. And for the former PBA D-League Most Valuable Player, being given the chance to strut his stuff is the very reason that led to this stellar outing.

“Nabibigyan na tayo ng chance eh, so dapat i-grab na talaga natin,” Tolomia shared. “Second chance ko na ‘to e, nalipat nga ako ‘di ba? So yun.

“Gina-grab ko lang talaga yung opportunity na binibigay sa’kin ni coach Norman.”

Tolomia has always been identified as a scorer ever since his college and amateur days. But now that he’s with Meralco, he’s more keen on fulfilling the role given to him — playing second fiddle to main floor general Baser Amer.

“Alam naman natin si Baser sobrang consistent niya e, kailangan mo pantayan or higitan ‘pag napasok ka. ‘Di naman maganda na pagpasok bababa yung laro ng team mo, so yun ang role ko: Dapat ma-sustain ko kung anong tinatakbo ni Baser sa umpisa,” Tolomia said.

“[Pero] Focus pa rin ako sa little things, kung ano yung role ko sa team.”