FORMER high school star Arvin Tolentino said he kept reminding himself of one thing when he made his debut for Ateneo on Sunday: Keep your emotions in check.
The former San Beda Red Cub impressed in his first game in the UAAP, scoring 12 points in helping the Blue Eagles post a runaway 79-57 win over the Adamson Falcons on Sunday.
His first game stood in stark contrast to the debut of fellow rookie Thirdy Ravena, who failed to score in four minutes of action and later admitted that rookie jitters may have gotten the better of him.
Tolentino, easily one of the most sought-after players from the high school ranks in the offseason, said he looked forward to his first UAAP game but he made sure his emotions were in check.
“Sobrang excited ako,” said Tolentino. “Gigil? Hindi naman. Ang naramdaman ko, sobrang excited. Nakatulog naman ako.”
Tolentino was second only in scoring to Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena (22 points), saying he never looked for his shots but made sure he took them when he was left open.
“Masaya naman ako sa outcome ng laro. Hindi ko pinilit umiskor. Basta natulungnan ko ‘yung team. Pero hindi ko naman magagawa ‘yun kung wala teammates ko,” he said.
Tolentino made two of his six three-point attempts. He later admitted working on his outside shooting during the offseason on the advice of Ateneo's coaching staff.
“Sinabihan lang ako na keep on shooting. Nagtiwala lang ako sa sarili ko. Sa practice, extra work, extra shooting ako. Hindi naman ‘yun darating bigla. Kailangan pag-trabahuan. Kumpiyansa lang sa sarili,” said Tolentino.
After getting his debut out of the way, Tolentino is now looking forward to his first Ateneo-La Salle match on Sunday morning.
He knows exactly what to do against the bigger Green Archers.
“Dapat gang-rebound. Kung hindi namin kaya one-on-one, kung lima kaming rerebound, mas malaki magiging chance namin na makuha ‘yung mga 50-50 balls. Kailangan hustle lang,” said Tolentino.