MANILA, Philippines – As the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles look to regain their UAAP men’s basketball championship status, 17-year-old Arvin Tolentino will shoulder much of the load on his 6-foot-5 frame.
After winning five consecutive titles from ’08-09 to ’12-13, Ateneo failed to make the Final Four last season, finishing with a 7-7 record as arch rivals De La Salle University raise the championship banner.
Tolentino, who had led the San Beda High Red Cubs to an undefeated season and was the Finals MVP for their fifth consecutive NCAA championship last year, will join his former Under-18 3 on 3 FIBA Asia championships teammate and UAAP Season 76 MVP Thirdy Ravena and his brother Kiefer in hopes of restoring Ateneo to basketball glory.
“There really is pressure for me,” admitted the forward Tolentino, a resident of Rizal province. “It’s a great opportunity for me and I’ll just do my best to help the team win a championship.
Blue Eagles players are excited about the additions of Tolentino and Ravena. Ateneo’s third-year point guard Nico Elorde had high remarks for Tolentino. “Arvin is very smart inside the court,” said Elorde. “He can play almost all of the positions.”
Tolentino says that he hasn’t yet decided on which major to pursue but says that his favorite subject is math – trigonometry in particular – because he likes “solving problems.”
ADMU and their fan base hope that he can solve their problems, too. – Rappler.com
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.