TOP high school prospect Arvin Tolentino is set to fill the void inside the paint for the Ateneo Blue Eagles next season.
The star big man of the San Beda Red Cubs on Friday confirmed his decision to move to Ateneo, less than two months after Spin.ph broke the story that he has committed to join the Blue Eagles in the UAAP.
“Yes po, nag-commit na po ako (sa Ateneo). It was a decision I made and after a long dialogue with my family and friends, I've decided to transfer,” said the versatile 6-foot-5 big man.
They Said It!
“He’s a gem for us. And I am very happy to have him and our new recruits,” - Blue Eagles coach Bo Perasol who also netted prized recruits Thirdy Ravena, Clint Dolinguez and John Apacible
“In the end, I realized the opportunity (waiting for me) at Ateneo. I think this team needs my potential,” Tolentino added.
Tolentino committed to join Ateneo early this week and has in fact played in Ateneo’s practice game last Wednesday against the Lyceum Pirates, where he was quick to impress the management and coaching staff of Ateneo.
“Ang ganda ng ginawa niya roon. Kasi hindi ko inaasahan na ganun ang laro niya. He’s a complete player. He’s a really good offensive player,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol while trying to remember how many points Tolentino scored in the game.
“Mga 15 to 20 points ginawa niya, na-impress talaga ako kasi andami pa nilang ginamit ko, he still managed to perform sa kaunting panahon na ginamit ko siya,” added the Blue Eagles' second-year coach.
“He’s a gem for us. And I am very happy to have him and our new recruits,” said Perasol while mentioning other new recruits Thirdy Ravena, Clint, Dolinguez and John Apacible.
Ateneo team manager Epo Quimpo told Spin.ph that it took a tedious process before they were able to get Tolentino, who was pursued heavily by his current school, San Beda, for its college team.
“Malaking bagay (sa pag-convince sa kanya) kasi din yung posisyon na lalaruan niya. He will be a big factor to the team because of the depleted (frontline) spot ng Ateneo. He can also be a major support to Kiefer (Ravena) and Chris (Newsome),” said Quimpo.
“We’re happy to welcome Arvin and recently Thirdy to the Blue Eagles’ nest -two of the best high school players in the country,” added the former Ateneo guard.
Tolentino, however, will not be able to join the Blue Eagles in an exhibition game against San Beda in Iloilo on Friday night as he is set to take the pre-requisite Ateneo entrance exam on Saturday.
Aside from Tolentino, Quimpo bared that they are also looking at three more high-profile high school players to reinforce an Ateneo side that missed the Final Four last season.
Spin.ph has earlier reported that reigning UAAP Finals MVP Hubert Cani of the National University Bullpups is "interested" to move to Katipunan.
“May tatlo pa. Inaayos na namin. Abangan na lang,” said Quimpo.