At Northport, Arvin Tolentino is prepared to assume the reins of power.
In addition, the 6-foot-5 forward made that audacious claim on Friday during the PBA On Tour at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, when he scored 41 points in the Batang Pier’s 105-86 drubbing of the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
The veteran of the Gilas Pilipinas made 7 of 11 shots from outside the arc and finished a rare point-play early in the fourth quarter to put Northport ahead 88-69.
He had more opportunities to score, but at the last 5:24 of the game, with the Batang Pier leading by 23 points, Coach Bonnie Tan decided to end his game.
In the second half, Tolentino found his range and destroyed the opposition for 27 points to set a new career high.
After the team’s standout guard Robert Bolick left for the Japan B.League, he proved his readiness to step in as the new go-to player by making 7 of 11 three-point attempts, adding five rebounds and two assists.
JM Calma, a sophomore big man, provided support for Tolentino with 21 points and eight rebounds, and Paul Zamar overcame a poor first half to finish with 14 points.
In a 113-111 overtime loss to Converge, Tolentino’s 41 points tied Jericho Cruz of San Miguel for the most in the preseason.
Raoul Soyud, who was making a comeback, scored 16 points for Phoenix, Chris Lalata scored 15, and Larry Muyang recorded a double double with 13 and 12 rebounds.
These figures, however, were insufficient for the Fuel Masters, who suffered their third straight defeat and now have a record of 3-6.
Tolentino said that he was flattered and declared that he would gladly accept the challenge if it were basic for Northport to triumph.
The player, however, emphasized that for the Batang Pier, it is not only about him, stating that he makes a point to include everyone.
- Northport 105 – Tolentino 41, Calma 21, Zamar 14, Yu 8, Munzon 4, Santos 4, Ayaay 3, Bauzon 2, Gabriel 2, Balagasay 2, Salado 2, Sobrevega 0, Bulawan 0, Olivario 0.
- Phoenix 86 – Soyud 16, Lalata 15, Muyang 13, Jazul 11, Mocon 9, Tio 8, Camacho 6, Celda 5, Manganti 3, Garcia 0, Alejandro 0, Fetalvero 0, Atienza 0.
Quarter scores: 21-21; 53-44; 82-65; 105-86.