A split second can be all the difference. Because after a split second, it’s gone.
Just ask Arvin Tolentino and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
Eight-point-five seconds is a short amount of time, but an eternity on the basketball court. Wednesday night, the game was knotted at 75-all with 8.5 seconds remaining.
Fresh off the timeout, Arvin Tolentino was able to catch the ball off the post but drew back to the elbow, forcing an isolation against Isaac Go.
“Super confident ako na mananalo kami especially on that 8.5 seconds binigay sakin ni coach yung tira,” recalled Tolentino. “Ang balak ko talaga is go to the right stepback kasi ine-expect nila siyempre iso binibigay na sa akin yung right lane.”
The 6-foot-5 forward dribbled away as the clock wound down. Ready to pull up, Tolentino looked up to see how much time was remaining. It proved to be a costly error.
“Honestly, naisip ko mananalo kami but when I felt na nandun na yung tira ko, yung split-second na tumingin ako sa clock yun na yung naging factor kung bakit ko nabitawan yung bola,” Tolentino admitted.
A shot attempt would have at least given the Tamaraws a chance to advance to the Finals. However, it was the Ateneo de Manila University Eagles who came out on top in overtime, 88-84.
Tolentino, who averaged 13.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in the series, has few regrets. Just 22 years young, he knows that this experience will only make him a better player both on and off the court.
“Hindi naman ako nasisisi sa moment na yun pero wala eh part of the game yung mga ganun. Siguro pinagsisisihan ko lang bat pa ako na tumingin sa oras,” he said.
“It’s been great,” he reflected about his first season in FEU. “Marami kaming ups and downs ngayong season but yun yung learning experience namin lalo yung mga talo.
“I’m proud of my team, my teammates, my coaches. Marami kaming natutunan this season yun yung pinakaimportanteng bagay para sa akin. Kahit hindi man namin nakamit yung main goal namin pero ito yung magmo-mold sa amin as a team to become better.”