Kat Tolentino 'signing off' from Ateneo after winning first title

MANILA, Philippines – It seems that Kat Tolentino has played her final game for the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

In a championship thanksgiving Mass held at the Church of the Gesu in Ateneo de Manila University, the opposite spiker gave a speech thanking God and everyone who has helped her play through 3 injury-plagued seasons with the Lady Eagles.

"I just want to say how blessed and thankful I am to God that I'm not just an athlete who had 3 ACL injuries," she said as she stood before a good number of Ateneo fans in attendance.

"But one can finally say that I'm an athlete with 3 ACL injuries, one absolutely unforgettable championship, and one Ateneo family forever," she continued.

"This is Kat Tolentino, No. 10, signing off," she concluded amid gasps, cheers, and playful booing of her friends and teammates.

The 6-foot-3 Filipino-Canadian still has one playing year left with the Lady Eagles, who could use a lot of veteran help after the departure of graduating stars Maddie Madayag, Kim Gequillana, and Finals MVP Bea de Leon.

However, if she has indeed closed the chapter on her collegiate career, she did so by providing Ateneo with much-needed help against the gutsy UST Golden Tigresses in the UAAP Season 81 finals.

In 3 nail-biting contests against a squad led by season MVP Sisi Rondina and Rookie of the Year Eya Laure, Tolentino averaged 12.7 points with a 15-point cap-off in the do-or-die Game 3 to help seal Ateneo's first title since 2015.

Tolentino had her chances for a maiden title in Seasons 79 and 80, but Ateneo ultimately fell short before finally winning it all. – Rappler.com