Knights coach Garcia eyeing Red Cub Tolentino as Almazan replacement
Letran coach Caloy Garcia says he wants Arvin Tolentino of archrival San Beda on the Knights lineup. Jerome Ascano

LOSING the best big man in the NCAA has prompted Letran coach Caloy Garcia to look at the best big man in high school as a replacement.

With the departure of Raymond Almazan, the Knights mentor is setting his sights on San Beda Red Cubs star Arvin Tolentino as a possible recruit for next season.

“We lost probably the best local big man in the league. That’s a big shoe to fill in,” said Garcia, whose team is fresh from runner-up finish to San Beda in the recently concluded season. “We’ll just have to find ways to win again.”

And Garcia has his eyes on the 18-year-old Tolentino, the reigning juniors Finals MVP who’s heavily sought after by the country’s top programs, not to mention getting tryout offers from US NCAA schools Duke and Rhode Island.

They may be shooting for the stars, but Garcia believes there’s no harm in trying especially if Tolentino is looking for playing time right away.

“I don’t think they’re gonna put him in the (San Beda seniors) lineup kasi may import na sila eh,” Garcia told “You never know.”

Garcia can also pull the sibling card as he said Arvin’s older sister studies college in Letran.

So far, there are two Team B big men, albeit undersized, who are shoo-ins for the seniors’ team next year, according to Garcia.

Felix Apreku, a Filipino-Ghanaian forward, can defend all five positions, according to Garcia. The other player is 6-foot-4 Chester Saldua. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos