SAN Beda is not giving up on top high school prospect Arvin Tolentino despite reports that the Red Cubs star has committed to join the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP in college.
A day after Spin.ph reported that the 6-5 center has agreed in principle to play college ball with the Blue Eagles, San Beda team manager Jude Roque said the school will do everything to convince Tolentino to stay.
[For full story, see Top high school prospect Tolentino, Thirdy Ravena commit to Blue Eagles]
Roque added that the 18-year-old has yet to seek permission from San Beda for a move to another school, adding the Tolentino situation can still change until the player has enrolled at Ateneo.
“Wala pa. Balita pa lang naman daw yun. Hindi pa nagpapaalam yung bata. Ang balita ko may mga nagtanong sa kanya… dineny niya,” Roque said.
“Hindi ko alam pero hindi naman natin malalaman 'yan talaga, kasi 'yang mga batang yan hindi naman 'yan magsasabi kung nag-commit nga sila talaga,” he added.
If and when Tolentino completes his move to the Katipunan campus, it will not be the first time that San Beda will lose a top high school prospect to the Blue Eagles.
Over the years, Roque concedes that former Red Cubs stars LA Tenorio, Magnum Membrere, Nico Salva and, recently, Ford Arao, Yuri Escueta and Mike Baldoz have gone on to play college ball at Ateneo.
But in this most recent tug-of-war, Roque said they are still in the process of convincing Tolentino to stay put to beef up the Red Lions' bid to extend their reign in the NCAA.
"We're still trying to convince him. Until such time that we learn that he's already enrolled at Ateneo, we won't be losing hope. I know De La Salle is also trying to recruit him," Roque said.
“Hindi ko pa talaga alam eh. Pero possible namang nag-commit na siya … pero ayaw lang niyang sabihin sa amin, di ba?” added the soft-spoken official.
However, other factors may still influence the negotiations, especially since San Beda also enjoys the support of longtime Ateneo patron Manny V. Pangilinan.
At the same time, Roque said he doubts if Tolentino will still pursue offers to try out for US NCAA powerhouse Duke and Rhode Island.
"I don't know but that's something that they will have to decide as a family … kasi malalayo siya, saka walang financial aid yun eh. Scholarship lang inaalok 'dun,” Roque said.