Make way for scoring guard Arvin Tolentino.
In the absence of Mikey Williams and Robert Bolick, the NorthPort mainstay is the Philippine Basketball Association’s newest kid on the scoring block among the locals.
In five games, Tolentino has averaged close to 24 points per outing while also pulling down 5.6 rebounds per match as NorthPort won three of the five games so far, including a tough 128-123 overtime win over reigning Governors’ Cup champion TNT on Friday at the Philsports Arena.
Against the Tropang Giga, Tolentino displayed steely nerves, pumping in 27 points and grabbing nine rebounds, and delivered the dagger triple at the corner with 1:06 left in overtime, to settle the issue once and for all.
Tolentino scored five of his team’s last six points in helping the Batang Pier snap back-to-back losses.
A member of the Gilas Pilipinas gold medal-winning teams in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and Asian Games in China, Tolentino believes playing alongside the best players in the PBA had certainly raised the level of his game.
“It has definitely boosted my confidence. You’ve been competing with the best players from the PBA in practices and in actual games. Then you played against top-caliber players in the international level,” Tolentino said.
“Somehow, when you play in the PBA, that experience of playing against some of the best international players along with competing and playing with the best in the PBA, raised the level of my game.”
Against Rain or Shine last 12 November, Tolentino banged in a career-high 35 points and his lowest output was 16 against Terrafirma.
After his breakout performance against the Elasto Painters, Tolentino drilled in 22 points in a losing effort versus Magtnolia and 29 points in a defeat to NLEX on 22 November.