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    Arvin Tolentino vows 'never again' as he turns from goat to hero for FEU

    Nov 21, 2018
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    NEVER again.

    Those were the only words Arvin Tolentino had in mind when he caught the leather from Jasper Parker in the closing seconds of Far Eastern University's UAAP game against La Salle with the Tamaraws' season on the line.

    All of a sudden, memories of his past blunders came flooding back for the graduating FEU forward. One in particular - his turnover in the closing moments of the Final Four loss to Ateneo last season - lingered.

    "To be honest, naisip ko talaga yung last year. We had a chance to make it sa finals and I blew it. Yung nasayang ko na opportunity and it still haunts me. Yun talaga ang iniisip ko," said the transferee from Ateneo.

    Tolentino only had two options: sink with the enormity of the situation or rise above the pressure.

    This time, he chose the latter.

    "Sabi ko, 'Never again, never again.' Nung nakuha ko yung bola, nag-zoom in lahat," he said.

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    Tolentino buried the game-winning triple from the top of the arc with 3.1 seconds to spare as the Tamaraws overcame the La Salle Green Archers, 71-70 to clinch the last ticket to the Season 81 Final Four.

    Redemption was so sweet for the former San Beda juniors star.

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    "I prayed. Nagdasal ako and buti na lang, sinagot ni Lord yung prayer ko," said the 6-5 forward after finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in what almost became his final game in college.

    "I've been working hard since I got to FEU and I changed myself. My coaches changed me and I just want to give everything para sa FEU."

    "It could have been our last game. Pero yung iniisip ko lang kanina, di ko sasayangin lahat ng sacrifices ko, especially ng teammates ko," he said as FEU meets Ateneo in the Final Four for the third straight year.

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    "Masaya lang. Lahat ng sacrifice at hard work namin, dito napunta."

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    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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