KNOWN as a hard-nosed player, Vince Tolentino acknowledges that being good enough on the defensive end won’t cut it as he tries to continue building his stock ahead of the 2018 PBA Draft.
That’s why he heeded coach Chot Reyes’ advice and is slowly trying his best to turn into a skillful two-way player in his stints with the Gilas cadets and Go for Gold.
“It’s definitely a conscious effort to be more aggressive on offense. Not only looking for my shot, but distributing the ball when I need to,” the former Ateneo stalwart said.
Tolentino typified this new version of himself with a breakout performance for the Scratchers on Thursday, coming off the bench with 20 points, six assists, and five rebounds in their 92-83 victory over CEU in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
And for the 24-year-old forward, he credits his veteran teammates in Go for Gold like Jerwin Gaco and Gab Banal as the two have certainly taken him under their wings.
“I love being in a veteran team because I learn a lot from the guys,” saidthe 6-foot-4 Tolentino. “As a young player, I wanna absorb everything, try to learn, and just continue to keep learning and growing.”
But Tolentino isn’t satisfied yet as he aims to hone his craft better in the coming games.
“I think I want to improve on reading the defense more and being confident in my outside shots. If I’m able to hit that outside shot, then it stretches the floor and it gives our team more opportunities.”
“I wanna be able to play the three-spot, but it’s just me being conscious of it. And now, it’s something that I need to get to the next level with. It got by in college, but now I need to be a two-way player.”
And if those efforts also reward Tolentino a title in the developmental league, he certainly won’t complain.
“I’m preparing to get to the draft and these next couple of months are very important for my career and I’m gonna give it whatever it takes to get there. But we wanna win the championship, too, so if I can get a championship as part of my resume, I would love that,” he said.