Arvin Tolentino hits the big baskets, but Ateneo coach says young forward's defense made difference for Eagles 
Arvin Tolentino is praised by coach Bo Perasol more for his defense on UST main man Kevin Ferrer than the 20 big points for the Eagles. Jaime Campos

ARVIN Tolentino put his offense on display but for Ateneo coach Bo Perasol, defense was the highlight of his best game so far in UAAP Season 78.

Tolentino had 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field in Ateneo’s 80-74 win over UST on Wednesday.

The sophomore forward had 13 points in the fourth period as the Eagles thwarted the Tigers’ repeated rallies and took a 6-4 win-loss record.

Perasol praised Tolentino for his defense, specifically on Kevin Ferrer, who was limited to just 1-of-11 from the field.

“Kahit walang bola si Kevin, he was able to deny him the ball. Proof of that is hindi siya nakascore against us. He played heads up defense. It was not reflective on the score but I think there were a lot of times na we were having a run and we also made necessary stops,” said Perasol.

[See Arvin Tolentino finally lives up to billing, helps Ateneo cool down red-hot UST Tigers]

Tolentino said he was focused on playing defense entering the game, but his offense just clicked.

“Masaya po dahil last round, tinalo kami ng UST. Malaki rin ‘yung lamang namin doon. Coming to this game, ang nasa isip ko lang naman is to defend. Wala sa isip ko na umiskor. Sabi lang ni coach, set the screens, rebound the ball, defend Kevin Ferrer.”

“Masaya naman ako na at least nakapag-contribute ako sa offense,” last year’s Rookie of the Year said.

Veteran Von Pessumal gave credit to the Tolentino-led bench, which steadied the team while UST was making a run in the third period.

“They bailed us out,” said Pessumal. “They played so well the whole game. We have been telling them the whole week to step up.”

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