FAR Eastern University forward Arvin Tolentino had the perfect plan in mind to win the game for the Tamaraws on Wednesday night.
With the game tied at 75-all and the game clock down to the final 8.5 seconds in the regulation, Tolentino was given the chance to win the game against Ateneo by FEU coach Olsen Racela.
The former Ateneo player said he had no doubt that they would win.
“Honestly, naisip ko mananalo kami,” said the Tamaraws big man afterwards. “Super confident ako na mananalo kami especially on that 8.5 seconds."
Tolentino took the reporters back to that last 8.5 seconds - probably the longest 8.5 seconds of his career - when his former teammate Isaac Go guarded him on the isolation.
“Ang balak ko talaga is go to the right, (make a) step back (basket),” he said. “Then noong na-gather na ko dun ko, nabitawan ‘yung bola.”
“Alam kong 8.5 (seconds), ang balak ko sana three seconds at saka ako gagawa ng move,” he added. “Ayun medyo nabitin din sa oras kasi I had to step back two steps para may momentum.”
Tolentino said his mistake was glancing at the game clock one last time.
"But when I felt na andun na ‘yung tira ko, ‘yung split second na tumingin ako sa clock, ‘yun na ‘yung naging factor kung bakit ko nabitawan yung bola.”
“Binigay sakin ni coach ‘yung tira pero unfortunately, turnover.”
The Tamaraws went on to lose in overtime, 84-88, but Tolentino isn't beating himself up over that final play which he chalked down to a learning experience.
“Hindi naman ako nagsisisi sa moment na ‘yun,” said Tolentino. “Pero wala eh, part of the game ‘yung mga ganun. Siguro pinagsisisihan ko lang 'bat pa ako na tumingin sa oras.”
“Marami kaming natutunan this season, ‘yun ‘yung pinaka-importanteng bagay para sa akin. Kahit hindi man namin nakamit ‘yung main goal namin pero ito ‘yung magmo-mold samin as a team to become better.”