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Tolentino: The unlikeliest of heroes for the Blue Eagles

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For all the flak he has been receiving due to his inconsistent play, Arvin Tolentino proved that he’s always ready when the Ateneo Blue Eagles need a huge push.

In Ateneo’s 80-74 win against the University of Santo Tomas, Tolentino has his best game of the season as he led all scorers with 20 markers, majority coming from the fourth quarter. Prior to that game, the sophomore forward has only been averaging 4.1 points, and 2.6 rebounds in nine minutes of court time.

“What a way for Arvin to get out of his slump,” Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol shared after the game. “He knows and I can see in his eyes that he really was confident earlier on in making those shots.”

It were big shots indeed as Tolentino’s crucial three-pointers during the final quarter was one of the main factors in weathering UST’s second half surge. The former San Beda Red Cub swished in triples during the 7:40, 6:37, and 4:40 marks to keep at pace with UST’s torrid scoring barrage.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Tolentino: The unlikeliest of heroes for the Blue Eagles    “Masaya po dahil last round di ba talo kami sa UST at laki ng lamang namin noon. Coming to this game, ang isip ko lang naman is to defend at wala sa isip ko na umiskor,” Tolentino told reporters after the game. “Kasi on offense sinasabi lang naman ni coach na set your screens, rebound the ball, and defend Kevin Ferrer. Masaya naman ako na nakapagcontribute ako sa offense din.”

Tolentino, known mostly for his offense, did a good job in defending UST’s Kevin Ferrer. With the flurry of Ateneo defenders hounding him, the King Tiger finished the game with 13 points on a horrid 1/11 shooting to go along with three rebounds and an assist.

With that defensive effort, he showed to his critics what he can do when focused. Even Perasol took notice and was all praises for his player’s performance. The Ateneo mentor also hopes that Tolentino will be consistent with his performances since Ateneo is making a strong push in grabbing a Final Four ticket.

“Iyan naman palagi ang discussion namin with him. There’s no question in my mind that he can play and can have the right attitude as far as defense is concerned,” Perasol further remarked. “Lagi ko naman sinasabi kapag may bola ang tulin-tulin ni Arvin pero pag walang bola mabagal. Ngayon, kahit walang bola si Kevin, he was able to deny him the ball and proof of that, malaking bagay ang 1/11 ni Kevin sa field. Malaking bagay talaga na iyong main scorer hindi naka-score against us including Karim [Abdul].”

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