WHEN it comes to clutch moments for Far Eastern University, Mac Belo will always be part of the conversation.
It's been three long years since the Midsayap, North Cotabato native donned the Tamaraws' green-and-gold, but his clutch buckets against the UAAP powerhouses are still fondly remembered even to this day.
But FEU has found a new clutch player.
For so long pictured as a goat by some people from Morayta, Arvin Tolentino redeemed himself with the game-clinching trey with 3.1 seconds to spare to lift FEU to a 71-70 victory over La Salle in their knockout match on Wednesday.
That single shot atoned for years of frustration for the 6-5 forward, who is best remembered for some costly turnovers, none bigger than the error he made late in FEU's loss to Ateneo in the Final Four last season.
Tolentino, ironically a member of that 2015 Ateneo team that got shot down by Belo's winner, turned a new leaf on Wednesday.
"Na-Mac Belo kami," said former La Salle star Jeron Teng, who witnessed Tolentino's moment in this game as well as Belo's dagger corner triple back in 2014.
Ben Mbala had an inclination of this moment happening, though he didn't expect that the Green Archers will once again draw the short end of the stick.
"I knew it was gonna be a tie, a close game at the end of regulation and what I was expecting happened. They hit a clutch shot," the two-time UAAP MVP said. "That’s basketball. That’s part of the game."
Tolentino, though, deflected the credit, saying the win was a total team effort and not the work of one man alone.
"Hindi ko naman iniisip na ganoon, na ako ang hero. Never, never na pumupunta sa isip ko yun na patunayan na ganoon nga," he said. "Ayoko isipin ng tao na nanalo kami dahil sa shot ko. Every shot was as big in this game."
"Gusto ko lang ipakita sa mga tao na lahat kami yun. Actually, (the shot) was because of JR (Parker). Nakuha ko yung bola, pero si JR ang best creator namin dahil magaling siya mag-penetrate.
"When I checked the clock, 13 seconds pa, tinawag ko siya at naging ready lang ako."