AFTER years of waiting in the wings, Mike Tolomia is ready to step out of the shadows of his more illustrious Far Eastern University teammates and make a bigger impact in the coming UAAP season.
The third-year guard knows where he stands in a Tamaraws team that is loaded in the backcourt with top talents like RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo, but he insists he will be ready if called upon by new coach Nash Racela.
On Wednesday, he showed a glimpse of what he is capable of when he led the way for the Tamaraws in a match against Arellano University in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
With Romeo getting limited minutes after playing for Big Chill in the PBA D-League the day before, Tolomia broke through with 18 points in leading the Tamaraws to an 81-79 victory.
“Medyo bad game si Terrence. Ako na ang sunod sa backcourt na mayroon si coach kaya dapat mag-step up ako para ma-cover ko ’yung kung ano man ’yung kulang,” said Tolomia.
Tolomia’s improved play augurs well for the future of the Tamaraws, more so with Garcia entering his fifth and final year with the team and top FEU juniors prospect Jerie Pingoy deciding to move to Ateneo.
Racela believes in Tolomia's potential.
“Potential siya sa PBA,” said Racela. “Nag-struggle si Mike in our first two games. Offensive player siya, sometimes linilimit namin siya. If he plays his cards right, mas maganda ’yun para sa kanya.”