ARVIN Tolentino is clueless whether he’ll remain part of the Philippine men’s training pool for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers following his trade from Barangay Ginebra to NorthPort.
The wingman out of Far Eastern University said he’s yet been informed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) about his status with Gilas now that he’s playing with a different ballcub.
“Right now I have no idea kung ano ang plans, kung kasama pa ba ako o hindi,” said Tolentino in between laughs.
The 6-foot-4 forward was named part of the national training pool for the November window since coach Chot Reyes was given the privilege to pick PBA players from the teams of Barangay Ginebra, TNT, and San Miguel.
Tolentino represented Ginebra in the pool along with Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson; June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez for San Miguel, and Roger Pogoy and Poy Erram for TNT.
“Nag-practice pa ako last Monday,” he said of the start of the regular Monday practices by the national team.
Tolentino admitted he has no knowledge or inkling that he’d be traded the following day.
“No,” he said when asked if he’s aware about the planned trade. “Tuesday yung trade. Tuesday lumabas ng morning, tumawag yung NorthPort (sa akin).”
So at the moment, Tolentino has no idea yet if he’ll continue practicing with Gilas every Monday.
National team deputy Tim Cone, who handled Tolentino at Ginebra, told the player he’ll definitely be part of the long term pool.
“Coach Tim talked to me naman during practice and sabi niya kasama naman ako sa pool for the long term,” said Tolentino.
He was actually part of the training pool during the August window when the team battled Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, but failed to make the 12-man roster in both games.
Still, Tolentino said he’s ready if and when his services are needed.
“I think its huge for me kasi playing against the best, practicing against the best, minsan mo lang makukuha yung chance na yun. And of course, playing for the country, dream ko rin yun since bata pa ako,” he said.
“And if ever naman mapasama ako, I will do my best to help the team win. Whenever they need me, I’m ready.”
Tolentino already gave a glimpse of what he can bring to Gilas after finishing with an all-around game of 16 points on 4-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc, six rebounds, and seven assists in his first game for NorthPort, a 92-89 comeback win over Phoenix.
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