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    Kat Tolentino's situation complicated after abrupt end to final Ateneo season

    Apr 9, 2020
    PHOTO: Dante Peralta

    KAT Tolentino is unsure of what the future holds after his final playing year with the Ateneo Lady Eagles was aborted by the UAAP's decision to cancel the season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Tolentino made a last-minute decision to rejoin the Lady Eagles in their title defense this season, only for her comeback to be cut short after the government's decision to extend the quarantine over Luzon until April 30 led to the season's cancellation.

    In all likelihood, seniors will have their eligibility extended once the UAAP board resolves all other issues after the crisis. But not even that can guarantee a return for Tolentino since she'll be overage by next season.

    To get a chance to return, the 25-year-old winger needs a special exemption from the board.

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    Tolentino, who is currently in Vancouver, said now is not the best time to make a decision as the world continues to battle COVID-19.

    “It’s hard to predict what will happen for next year since we are still dealing with the pandemic and other global issues. For now, I am just praying that we overcome this and continue to keep healthy and safe always,” Tolentino said in an interview set up by her management team at Virtual Playground.

    Tolentino delivered 15 points as Ateneo beat University of the Philippines to kick off its title-retention bid, but a four-set loss to De La Salle, where she was held to six points on a five-of-41 attack rate, may be her final game with the Lady Eagles.

    “It’s sad of course, I am sure all the athletes will be disappointed. Especially since I decided to come back and this really is my last playing year na,” said last year’s Best Opposite Spiker.

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      “Also sad just because I was really looking forward to playing with this new team of Ateneo.”

      Tolentino understood that it was a tough decision for the UAAP board to make but believed that the scrapping of the season was for the best.

      “But I understand these are very difficult circumstances. Its been difficult not being able to train as a team or in our normal environment,” she said.

      “And if the UAAP is going to rush and put the athletes/community at risk it may not be worth continuing the season. In the end, it will be frustrating, heartbreaking and it will disappoint so many people, but I will be understanding in whatever decision is made.”

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      PHOTO: Dante Peralta
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