ARVIN Tolentino’s return from a one-game suspension didn’t end the way he wanted it to be – in fact, he didn’t have a chance to finish it again.
Tolentino reached high and hit Huang in the face with 15 seconds remaining and the game all wrapped up, prompting the referees to eject the FEU star for the second time this season.
While he admits that he should have been called for an unsportsmanlike foul, Tolentino believes he shouldn’t have been ejected for it.
“Parang feeling ko lang, feeling ko lang ha, parang unfair naman na 'yung iba naman tinatawagan ng unsportsmanlike foul pero bakit ako, disqualified agad?” Tolentino said.
“Unsportsmanlike foul yeah, pero bakit disqualified agad? Inaamin ko naman na masakit talaga, I mean, unspo talaga, above the shoulder yung tama. Pero di ba, bakit ako, tapon agad?”
Tolentino is now in danger of missing more games after getting his second straight disqualifying foul, with the Office of the Commissioner set to decide on the sanction.
Not only that, his reputation inside the court is now being put in question – especially with the ejection coming after a clothesline foul on Adamson’s Sean Manganti last week.
Tolentino said that he understands the backlash, granted that some people don’t know what really happens on the court, but he hopes that they don’t judge him for that.
“Syempre hindi naman nila naiintindihan kung bakit ganun. That’s fine, part of basketball eh. Na syempre may mga fans din, mga diehard fans especially kung kalaban ka. Syempre they’re gonna hate you pero I fully understand that,” Tolentino said.
“Sana lang hindi nila i-base yung nangyari na yun sa pagkatao ng isang player. Sana lang outside basketball, iba na siguro yung taong yun. Like after nun, di mo naman pwede i-judge yung tao based dun sa nangyari kasi may mga bagay naman na di maiiwasan, di sinasadya,” he added.
He was also apologetic to Huang and the UST community, but insists that he didn’t mean to hurt him.
“I just wanna apologize to the UST fans, Zach, and wala naman akong intensyon. Nakita naman kanina eh, I was going for the ball tapos medyo bumaba sya. Dun inabot. Eh I’m 6’5, mataas yung ano ko. I’m not giving excuses naman.”