LOOKING to address the need for a natural point guard, University of Santo Tomas is gambling on young journeyman Joel Tolentino.
The former Philippine Youth team member is looking to play for his third college team in his young career although he cannot suit up right away for the Tigers after stints with La Salle in the UAAP and College of St. Benilde in the NCAA.
Tolentino confirmed to Spin.ph that he is already enrolled at the España-based school where he will serve a one-year residency before he can make a UAAP comeback.
His entry is expected to fill the gaping hole at the point guard position after the graduation of Tigers playmaker Jeric Fortuna at the end of last season.
UST experimented with various backcourt combinations in the preseason, sending big guards Jeric Teng and Tata Bautista to handle the quarterbacking job.
Tolentino admitted that UST’s need for a point guard weighed heavily in his decision to transfer. He had also talked to Fortuna before the transfer, getting encouraging feedback on playing under UST coach Pido Jarencio.
“Isa rin ’yun sa dahilan kaya ko pinili ang UST. Gusto ko rin maglaro para kay coach Pido because he is a great coach,” said Tolentino.
After seeing action for the Philippine youth team, Tolentino played two seasons for the Green Archers under Franz Pumaren from 2009 to 2010 before suiting up for the Blazers last season where he averaged 9.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.
Recently, Tolentino also played for EA Regen Medical Group in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
Tolentino’s move came after CSB top star Carlo Lastimosa decided not to play for the Blazers this season. Gabby Velasco was also appointed Blazers head coach after Richard Del Rosario stepped down.