'No decision yet,' says Kat Tolentino on UAAP fate
MANILA, Philippines – As the UAAP canceled the rest of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ateneo's Kat Tolentino faces uncertainty with her eligibility.
The opposite spiker turned 25 years old last January, and will be deemed overaged next year. But the UAAP has yet to discuss issues like the eligibility of senior athletes and even the awarding of the UAAP general championship.
"It’s kind of confusing. Obviously, I can’t decide that, that’s why I’m not making a decision now," said Tolentino in an interview with Rappler.
Tolentino had planned to forego her final year of eligibility after leading the Ateneo Lady Eagles to their third UAAP women's volleyball title. But last December, the 6-foot-1 spiker decided to return to the team to help boost its title defense.
"If anything, what I learned from last year is not to make a decision right away and you have to think about it," added Tolentino.
The Fil-Canadian was able to fly back to Canada to stay with her family last April 1 and is currently undergoing self-quarantine.
Although there are less restrictions in Canada compared to the Philippines, Tolentino is just focusing on taking care of herself amid the pandemic.
"I’m just focusing on getting through this month first. It shouldn’t even be a question if I’ll be playing next year because that’s not the priority," said Tolentino.
Ateneo's title defense bid unfortunately came to an abrupt end with the season shutdown, their last game turning out to be a loss to archrival La Salle.
Tolentino recalled the team wanted to bounce back from that game, but days later, President Rodrigo Duterte suspended class on all levels and school activities, including the UAAP, which forced the team to cancel training as well.
Although the Lady Eagles managed to train in their own homes and keep in touch with their coaches, with the hope the season would eventually resume, they would eventually have to wait for their revenge game next season.
"It’s kind of unfortunate that that was the last game of the season but we didn’t really have control over that," said the UAAP Season 81 best opposite hitter.
Despite the unceremonious end to her team comeback, Tolentino felt her potential UAAP exit is "not as tragic," saying she at least she made an effort to don the Ateneo jersey for one last time.
"It’s not so bad because I know that at least I tried to come back and at least we made the effort, and it maybe just wasn’t the right time for us," said Tolentino.
"But I guess that was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back because I wanted to go back and not have that regret of like giving up my final year." – Rappler.com